University of Iowa Criminal Background Check Policy May Expand to Include More Faculty and Staff

More new hires at the University of Iowa (UI) – including faculty positions as well as merit, professional, and scientific staff – could face criminal background checks under a proposed policy expansion approved by the University’s Faculty Council, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports. UI’s current background check policy implemented in 2005 applies only to finance or medical positions designated as “security sensitive.” The full article is available on the Iowa City Press-Citizen website at: http://www.press-citizen.com/article/20121017/NEWS01/310170036/UI-hires-will-face-criminal-background-checks. 

According to the Press-Citizen report, the expanded UI policy allows the University “to use the background checks to decline the hire of a person who has been convicted of a crime judged to be related to the position.” However, the policy changes also would allow UI to proceed with a hire “if a background check yields a one-time conviction for simple misdemeanors such as public intoxication, possession of alcohol under the legal age and driving without registration, that are not related to the position.” The policy changes must go before the Faculty Senate and Staff Council before taking effect.

Colleges and Universities across the nation are reviewing their background check policies in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State University (PSU). Sandusky, an ex-football coach and longtime assistant to the late former PSU head coach Joe Paterno, was accused of molesting boys and later found guilty on 45 of 48 sex abuse counts and sentenced to 60 years in prison in October 2012.  A new background check policy at PSU that took effect July 2012 – HR99, “Background Check Process” – requires final job candidates to undergo a criminal background check that includes a child abuse record check.

For more information about background checks as part of a Safe Hiring Program (SHP), visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority’ and nationwide background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – at http://www.esrcheck.com, call ESR Toll Free at 888.999.4474, or email customerservice@esrcheck.com. For information about the newly published updated second edition of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR Founder and CEO Attorney Les Rosen, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/SafeHiringManual.php.

Sources:
http://www.press-citizen.com/article/20121017/NEWS01/310170036/UI-hires-will-face-criminal-background-checks
http://guru.psu.edu/policies/OHR/hr99.html
http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/2012/07/09/new-penn-state-university-background-check-policy-calls-for-criminal-history-and-child-abuse-record-checks/

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check AuthoritySM’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more, visit http://www.esrcheck.com, call 888.999.4474, or email customerservice@esrcheck.com.

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