The university must maintain high standards in its use of funds. Thus, employees of Academic Affairs need to be prudent in using relatives of university employees as speakers or performers if such use would entail a stipend or travel reimbursement. Generally, such compensation should be avoided unless a sufficient case can be made.
If a faculty member or academic program wishes to use university funds to compensate a relative of a university employee for services as a speaker, he or she must first obtain written permission from the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. When requesting permission, the faculty member must make the nature of the relationship clear. This permission must be received before inviting the relative to speak on campus or making any arrangements to do so. Faculty who have personal relationships with potential speakers are encouraged to similarly seek permission from the EVCAA. A faculty/staff employee's relative (e.g., spouse, domestic partner, etc.) should not be directly sponsoring potential speakers, but can solicit a colleague to sponsor that relative.
No permission is necessary if the speaker will not be compensated in any way.
By extension, these requirements also apply to other instances where a faculty member is requesting funds to be paid to a relative, such as requesting funds for a relative who also is a family member.
For the purposes of this policy, a relative is anyone defined as a relative within University Policy HR-02-50. This definition is reproduced below:
- By blood or adoption: Parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, and first cousin
- By marriage or same sex domestic partnership: spouse as defined by Indiana law, same sex domestic partnership as qualified by the university's Affidavit of Domestic Partnership, stepparent, stepchild, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, half-sister, half-brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, and niece, or relations of the same degree of the same sex domestic partner.
Failure to follow with this policy may be treated as a breach of the Code of Academic Ethics and also may result in the speaker receiving no compensation or reimbursement.
Faculty arranging for the university to compensate relatives can cast faculty in an unfavorable light and violate university policies. Requiring permission from the Executive Vice Chancellor provides transparency, helping faculty avoid damage to their reputation and possible policy violations.
Enacted: Faculty Senate 10/8/2018