July 12, 2017

Ad hoc committee to review nepotism and tenure policies

The Louisville Cardinal News

By Shelby Brown–

U of L’s Tenure and Nepotism Policy Committee had its inaugural meeting June 12 to update the university’s 25-year-old nepotism rules. The meeting, committee chair Sandra Frazier said, was “organizational.”

The committee will discuss nepotism and tenure policies unchanged since 1992. They intend to compare practices of other universities and recommend changes. Calling the topic of tenure “incredibly sensitive,” the committee will revise the nepotism policy first.

“It’s not that the nepotism piece will be easier, it’s just that it’s a little more clear cut,” Frazier said.

The committee will work to better define family relationships between employees. Marital and domestic partnerships are included in the policy. U of L currently doesn’t keep a record of the familial status of employees, according to Director of Media Relations John Karman.

“An effort is underway to modify the application to capture this information,” Karman said.

Staff trustee William Armstrong mentioned the brevity of the current policy leaves room for speculation.

The ad hoc committee assembled after the Board of Trustees passed a resolution in May. The committee comprises individuals from the trustees and academic leadership. Armstrong said the committee’s existence shows progress after the foresmsic audit release.

“I think it’s another indication of the transparency commitment, especially having Dr. Trucios-Haynes and myself involved to reflect the staff and faculty perspectives,” he said.

Armstrong believes the revision of the nepotism policies would be positive.

“One of the constant concerns that staff raise is there is not fair and equitable hiring practices being observed. The notion I receive is that there is lip service to that process,” Armstrong said.

Frazier proposed faculty, staff and trustee representatives respectively review nepotism policies in place at U of L and other universities. At the next ad hoc meeting, the group will look for common themes.

“We’re all coming to this representing different stakeholder groups and this is just a way that we can all come together efficiently,” Frazier said.

Individual revisions of the nepotism policy must are due August 30. Frazier hopes to have a draft of the nepotism piece and a tenure discussion at the September meeting. The committee presents to the full board in November.

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