Employment Relationships Involving Relatives/Nepotism (For Employees of Dartmouth College at The Geisel School Of Medicine)

A person who is a spouse or partner of a Dartmouth employee or candidate for employment and who is qualified for a faculty, administrative and professional, or service position at the College shall be considered on an equal basis with other applicants.

To protect against perceived or actual conflict of interest, faculty members should not recruit, hire or directly supervise spouses, domestic partners or other family members unless the arrangement has been approved in advance by the Dean of Faculty Affairs (DFA), and the DFA has put in place procedures to avoid or reasonably manage conflicts of interest.

In cases where spouses, domestic partners or other family members serve as key personnel on sponsored projects, no changes shall be made in percent effort, salary or other considerations that have potential financial and academic repercussions without review by and prior approval by the DFA or her/his designate.

In cases where an employee and a spouse, partner or other family member both hold faculty positions, matters are likely to arise that involve both individuals either as voting members of the Faculty or of a department/program, Faculty officers (e.g., deans or department chairs), candidates for promotion, or otherwise. In such instances, both faculty members are expected to act independently and objectively in all matters concerning their employment. To avoid conflicts of interest, the following policy shall apply:

Faculty members may neither initiate nor participate in institutional decisions involving a direct benefit (promotion, salary, labor distribution--e.g., fractional FTE on grants, leave, etc.) to spouses, partners or other family members or in actions that may have a negative impact on such benefits.

In the case of spouses, partners or other family members holding appointments in the same department or program, the spouse/partner/family member may not participate in the deliberation or vote on cases of appointments, reappointments, promotion, and tenure for a member of the cohort group of his or her spouse/partner/family member or in any disciplinary actions directed against his or her the spouse/partner/family member. In determining a cohort group for purposes of reappointment, promotion, and tenure, rank year will take precedence over the year of initial appointment.

In other cases, spouses, partners or other family members may, at their option, recuse themselves from participation in the matter under consideration, but they are not obligated to do so.

Individuals who hold faculty titles through Geisel and who are employed by other partnering entities (e.g., Dartmouth-Hitchcock or the White River Junction VA Medical Center) must adhere to the policies and bylaws of these institutions.

The Geisel Dean’s Office will request information from Department Chairs prior to the beginning of each fiscal year to confirm/update individuals in their departments who are subject to this policy and to provide the names of the individuals who will provide the required oversight when required.

Individuals who have professional oversight of family members who are students (non-employees) will refer to the appropriate student handbooks for those relationships.

(For purposes of this policy, an individual’s family members, in addition to the individual’s spouse or domestic partner, are: the individual’s siblings or those of the individual’s spouse or domestic partner (whether by whole or half-blood) and their spouses or domestic partners and their children; the individual’s and the individual’s spouse’s or domestic partner’s ancestors, children, and grandchildren, and the spouses of those children and grandchildren).