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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Nepotism : 5:01:00:06

Policy/Guideline Area

Personnel Policies

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities, System Office


The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria and process for employment of relatives at the System Office and institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.


  • For the purposes of this policy;
    • Relative - means a parent, parent-in-law, child, spouse, brother, foster brother, sister, foster sister, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, brother-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, or other family member who resides in the same household.


  1. Introduction
    1. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 8-31-101, et. seq, the following shall be the nepotism policy for the Tennessee Board of Regents System:
  2. Employment of Relatives
    1. Effective July 1, 1980, no employees of an institution who are relatives shall be placed within the same direct line of supervision whereby one relative is responsible for supervising the job performance or work activities of another relative; provided, however, that to the extent possible, this policy shall not be construed to prohibit two or more such relatives from working for the same institution.
    2. When employees of an institution become in violation of section II.A as a result of marriage, the violation shall be resolved by means of transfer within the institution, transfer to another institution, or resignation as may be necessary to remove the violation.
      1. If transfer alternatives are available, the employees shall be given the opportunity to select among the available alternatives; provided that if the employees are unable to agree upon any such alternative within sixty days, the appointing authority shall take appropriate action to remove the violation.
    3. In the case of employment relationships which would otherwise violate section II.A but which were in effect prior to July 1, 1980, the employment of the employees shall not be affected by this policy, provided that the institution takes appropriate action to ensure that employees neither initiate nor participate in institutional decisions involving a direct benefit (retention, promotion, salary, leave, etc.) to a relative.
    4. Each institution shall apply the foregoing in a non-discriminating manner, and shall ensure that the implementation of this policy does not adversely affect employees of one sex over those of the opposite sex.
    5. Tennessee Board of Regents Guideline P-090 provides further guidance regarding the implementation of the law.


TBR Meeting June 19, 2009


Mickey Sheen