Required Professional Boundaries With Respect To Immediate Family Members

UAF Policy 04.10.040

Original Adoption: Februray 03. 2021

Responsible Chancellor’s Cabinet Member(s):   Provost, VCSA, VC RCNE

Responsible Department/Office:  Provost Office

Download signed policy (PDF)


No University Representative may act on behalf of the university as a course instructor or otherwise in any official capacity in the instruction or educational experience of a student who is a member of their immediate family without a written plan approved by their Supervisor/Director/Dean and the Provost.


Course Instructor is any person who is assigned, either jointly or alone, to instruct or assist in instruction (such as in a role as a teaching assistant) of any course or supervise any educational experience of a student at the University.

Advisor or Mentor or Graduate Advisory Committee Member is any person who is assigned to, or who assumes the role of advising or mentoring a student, staff member, or faculty member.

Employee is an individual who receives compensation for work or services in which the University has the right (whether or not it exercises the right) to supervise and control the manner of performance as well as the result of the work or service and receives compensation which has been appropriated from funds controlled by the University regardless of the source of the funds, the duties of the position, the amount of compensation paid, or the percent of time worked.

Immediate Family Member (IFM) is defined by statute to include a spouse; another person cohabiting with the [employee] in a conjugal relationship that is not a legal marriage; a child (including step-child or adopted child); a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, or uncle of the employee; or a parent or sibling of the employee’s spouse (AS 39.52.120).

Acting in the Instruction or Educational Experience of a student includes, but is not limited to, assigning grades, evaluating clinical performance, serving on the student's graduate committee, awarding scholarships or research opportunities, or in an official capacity providing references or recommendations.

Official Role is defined as any role conferred or sanctioned by the University.

Preceptor is any individual assigned in the health sciences to an official role in the health education of a student.

Student is any person currently enrolled at the University as a student in any credit-bearing course or any credentialed academic program.

Student Experience is defined to include a student’s instruction and educational experience and all related experiences as a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Supervisor is defined to include direct and indirect supervisors.

University Representative includes any Course Instructor, Athletics Coach, Advisor or Mentor, Preceptor, or Supervisor, as defined above, or other person who acts on behalf of the University in regard to any Student or Employee.


This policy provides guidance for appropriate practices when a University Representative (see definition) is confronted with a situation that requires the instruction, mentoring, and the educational experience of immediate family members. The policy highlights the importance of maintaining professional boundaries in supervision and instructional situations when there is a real/potential/perceived conflict of interest and provides a transparent process to mitigate the conflict.

It defines the professional boundaries that must be maintained in relationships between students and any representatives of the University with any official role in the student experiences. This Policy also identifies what actions should be taken to prevent conflicts.

This Policy applies to all University Representatives (as defined here) including, without limitation, all employees and all volunteers who may serve as faculty members, athletics coaches, mentors, advisors, preceptors, and supervisors.


BOR Policy & Regulation P01.02.020, Nondiscrimination

BOR Policy & Regulation R04.05.020, Employee Definitions

BOR Policy & Regulation P04.07, Employee Relations

BOR Policy & Regulation P09.02.010, Student Rights and Responsibilities

BOR Policy & Regulation P04.10.040, Nepotism


Preventative Actions and Reporting Obligations:

To prevent a violation of this guideline:

  1. With respect to the Immediate Family Member, the University Representative must report the relationship in writing to the Provost through their Supervisor/Director/Dean and follow all terms of an approved plan as noted in part b. below.
  2. The University Representative must work in consultation with their Supervisor/Dean/Director to develop a written plan that removes them from any responsibility or influence over the student (IMF), including but not limited to reassigning grade assignments to other qualified individuals. Such a plan must be documented using the Immediate Family Member Academic Disclosure form, signed by the University Representative and approved by the Supervisor/Director/Dean, and the Provost.
  3. A copy of the signed plan must be kept in the university representative’s personnel file.


Any person who violates the requirements of this Policy or the terms of any written plan developed pursuant to this Policy will be deemed to have engaged in unprofessional behavior, which may be cause for discipline under University Policy chapter 04.07.



Dan White signature

Daniel M. White, Chancellor 
University of Alaska Fairbanks