For Researchers

Board of Regents Nepotism Policy

The State of Iowa Board of Regents policy (Chapter 1.3) concerning nepotism states that “Actual or potential conflicts of interest for a Regent or institutional official may arise from the interests of the individual or the individual’s spouse, significant other, or a family member. Such interests may include, but are not limited to, employment, ownership of, or service on the board of directors of an organization that has or may have relationships with the Board or a Regent institution.”

There are many actions an employee could take that could significantly influence the outcome of any of these decisions. These include decisions or recommendations to provide opportunities to a family member, such as a center director appointing or recommending the appointment of a spouse as the assistant director. Also included are decisions or recommendations by an employee to allocate resources to the university program of a family member. Resources include such things as funds, space, and equipment. Such actions may constitute a violation of Board of Regents policy, depending on how they are handled, and they certainly could be perceived as conflicts of interest.

To prevent violations of Board of Regents nepotism policy and real or perceived conflicts of interest in the management of resources and opportunities within units reporting to the Vice President for Research, effective immediately, no VPR employee, center or institute director, or recipient of VPR-administered funds may allocate, recommend the allocation, or approve the allocation of VPR-administered resources or opportunities to the research, outreach, teaching, or other programs of an immediate family member without the express written consent of the Vice President for Research or his or her designee. This includes participation in the review of proposals for funding.

In accordance with Board of Regents policy, immediate family member is defined as parent, child, sibling, first cousin, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, current or former spouse, brother or sister-in-law, father or mother-in-law, son or daughter-in-law, step-parent, step-child, or domestic partner.

Questions concerning this guideline should be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Research.