Colleges & Universities Starting to Buy in to Background Checks
November 13, 2007
Well, it certainly took them long enough to catch up to the rest of the country, but we are finally seeing some positive trends when it come to higher education institutions and background checks. I found this great article, Checking Up on Your Past on insidehighered.com (I’m sure today’s college students get a kick out of the name of this on-line publication).
The article focuses on last week’s annual meeting of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (who knew there was such a thing? but I bet you background screeners will be flocking to it from now on). Evidently, the topic of background checks was all the rage. Noteworthy in this article is a study conducted by Stephanie Hughes, an assistant professor of management at Northern Kentucky University on the use of background checks among universities. See a snapshot of results below.
– 13% of university’s polled never engage in criminal background checks
– 87% perform checks for some staff positions
– 40% screen for some faculty positions
– 26% conduct checks on some student workers
These are good stats, but a little misleading since “The way the survey was phrased, a “Yes” answer meant only that in some cases, a person in that category would be subject to a background check. That means that a college that would investigate a potential professor being hired in a field where security clearances are necessary or for work with young children would have answered Yes even if the vast majority of professorial hires are never subjected to a criminal background check.”
Good article and even better trend nonetheless.