Policy concerning voting on near relatives

[Advice to Committee on Academic Personnel chair Linda Bisson 9/11/2002]

Professor Bisson asked us independently for advice on the recusal of spouses.  CERJ finds no authority in ASB 55 or other Senate bylaws for restricting spouses from full participation in each other's cases.  We note, however, that the Academic Personnel Manual both sanctions departments hiring spouses and other near relatives (including domestic partners) and says the following:

520-16 Restriction.  A member of the University staff shall not participate in the processes of review and decision-making on any matter concerning appointment, promotion, salary, retention, or termination of a near relative.

As employees of the University, faculty are certainly governed by Administration rules with respect to many aspects of our job performance.  That seems completely correct legislatively and reasonable.  Yet these rules are not Senate rules.  It is the responsibility of the Administration, and not of the Senate or its committees, to enforce the APM.  If CAP or anyone else in the Division decides that a Senate restriction on the participation of near relatives is necessary, we will have to work to amend ASB 55; we cannot do it through local policy or Divisional Bylaws.