Archive for Sunday, August 31, 2008

KU enlists company to check new hires

August 31, 2008


All new Kansas University hires must undergo criminal background checks starting in September.

Earlier this year, the Kansas Board of Regents told its universities that criminal history checks would be required before a job could be offered. Under the policy, all newly hired or rehired faculty, staff, salaried student employees and temporary employees of six months or more would be subject to checks.

University spokeswoman Jill Jess said KU contracted with HireRight of Irvine, Calif., to run the criminal history checks on its applicants.

How it works: KU contacts HireRight with the applicant's information. The firm then contacts the candidate by e-mail and conducts a criminal history check in the county and state they most recently lived. Each background check costs the department doing the hiring $50.

HireRight also conducts a federal criminal history check and a national sex offender registry check. After the checks are complete, HireRight sends the results back to KU's human resources department.

A sex offender registry search will also be conducted on any student employees paid hourly wages who work with non-KU minors.

If the search returns a previous conviction, human resources, the office of the provost and general counsel will consider the applicants on a case-by-case basis. "A conviction would not automatically disqualify a candidate," Jess said.

The regents' mandate came after a Journal-World investigation discovered a number of convicted felons working in one KU department. At the time, KU didn't run criminal background checks on all of its hires. Rather, the university would review the sex offender list and ask for voluntary disclosure of previous convictions before offering a job.


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