In order to avoid conflicts of interest, it is University policy that no Faculty or staff member may initiate, or participate in, directly or indirectly, decisions involving a direct benefit, (e.g. initial employment or appointment, retention, promotion, salary, course work assignments, research funds, leaves of absence, etc. or, in the case of students, admission, grades or recommendations) to those related by blood or marriage, membership in the same household, including domestic partners, or persons with whom a Faculty or staff member has an intimate relationship. The potential for conflict of interest may also exist in close personal relationships which involve other than family relationships. The University views such conflicts of interest as seriously as it does those involving family members or blood relatives.