The University has decided to expand its usage and depth of pre-employment background checks. These new background checks will entail review of potential full-time, part-time and temporary faculty and staff education credentials and criminal history.
University Provost Martha Pollack and Laurita Thomas, associate vice president for Human Resources, approved the new policy on June 1.
By June 10, pre-employment checks will include a verification of education, social security number and criminal history. These pre-employment checks will be extended to both permanent and temporary staff by November. Third-party vendors, HireRight and GIS, will conduct the checks.
Pre-employment background checks have been in varying degrees of detail throughout the University system. Some — including the University Health System — implement more in-depth background checks and others — including other academic units — only criminal background checks.
Incomplete background checks have been a problem for the University in the past. Former social media director Jordan Miller resigned after it was uncovered that she had not completed her undergraduate education.
Pollack and Thomas wrote in an e-mail addressed to University employers and said in a University press release that the policy was meant to make sure employees were qualified to be working for the University.
“It is important that the university’s academic, research, patient care and service missions are supported by qualified employees with a safe and secure environment for all,” Pollack and Thomas wrote. “One way to accomplish this is through the use of background checks for new members of our work force.”
University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald said the checks have not been prompted by “anything specific,” such as the Jordan Miller incident, but rather it was something that had been discussed for many years.
Fitzgerald said the University was taking these steps to make the pre-employment practices consistent and standard across University departments.
“This review of this has been going on for quite some time,” Fitzgerald said. “The University has already been doing background checks for staff and some academic positions.”