UW-Madison/College of Engineering
Policy and Procedures Regarding Hiring/Appointment
of Relatives or Individuals With Close Personal Relationship.

Campus Nepotism policies (Classified and Unclassified) state the following:
In selecting employees, the applicant best qualified and available to perform in the position should, without exception, receive the employment offer. There is no restriction on hiring persons related through affinity or consanguinity. In circumstances where a supervisor will have a close personal relationship with an employee which can reasonably be viewed as affecting the supervisor's and/or the employee's ability to perform his/her job without a conflict between personal interest and the employer's interest, the relationship is considered equivalent to a family relationship and the parties will be subject to the provisions of the nepotism policy. Therefore, to avoid conflict of interest, any University appointing authority or supervisor related by blood, marriage, or adoption to a job applicant, or having close relationship with emotional ties to an applicant, must not participate either formally or informally in the decision to hire or determine the salary of that other person.

Full policy & procedure documents are available at the following:

In addition to the above nepotism/conflict of interest issues, there may be other pertinent factors to consider. For example, even if there is technically no reporting or evaluative relationship between the two relatives/equivalents, hiring within the same work unit without an objective recruitment process could create an impression of favoritism which could negatively affect the morale of other employees and the climate of the work unit, and/or set a precedent wherein other employees will expect similar accommodations for their relatives/equivalents.

Prior to Starting or Making Any Offer of Employment:
Any hiring request or proposal which would result in two relatives/equivalents working within the same unit and/or in close proximity is first reviewed by the department (or other work unit), in consultation with the College of Engineering Dean's Office, and approved or denied by the chair/director based on the following considerations:

If the request is approved, the department submits the following information (via email or memo) to the Dean's Office:

For proposed classified appointments (permanent, project, LTE), information is submitted to Debbie Severson-Hetzel.
For proposed unclassified appointments (student hourly, graduate assistant, employee-in-training, academic staff, faculty), information is submitted to Jeanne Hendricks.

The appropriate Dean's Office contact reviews the request, consulting with Deans and Campus HR Offices as appropriate, and notifies the department (via email or memo) of the decision to approve or deny the request.