Archive for Thursday, May 15, 2008

Regents OK new measures for safety

May 15, 2008


KU background checks

— By September, new employees at Kansas University and the five other state universities will be subject to criminal background checks before they are hired.

The new policy, approved Wednesday by the Kansas Board of Regents, is modeled after a one used for years at KU Medical Center. The policy discussion began after reports in news media, including a Journal-World investigation that discovered a number of convicted felons working in one KU department.

KU Provost Richard Lariviere was a dean at University of Texas-Austin when a similar system was launched.

"It caused considerable amount of angst from faculty and administrators when we implemented it, but ultimately it didn't cause any more difficulty in recruiting," he said.

The policy makes exceptions for student and temporary workers, but all other employees must undergo a background check, including a review of the sex offender registry.

At Pittsburg State and Fort Hays State universities, the issue of background checks may have to be part of negotiations with the faculty union.

"My bigger concern, though, is our international faculty and how we do background checks on people who aren't even in this country," Fort Hays President Ed Hammond said.

Regent Gary Sherrer said if universities encounter obstacles they cannot solve by September, adjustments could be made.

The regents also approved a new policy prohibiting weapons on campus, including these items: paintball guns, explosives or poison gas, longbows, crossbows and knives of more than four inches, unless designed for culinary purposes.


WHY 10 years ago

"unless designed for culinary purposes."So now I have to eat my victims?

bondmen 10 years ago

Oh, now that the Regents have spoken I feel much safer on campus! So now all the nut cases hyped up on psychotropic drugs bent on a mass killing will first report to campus security and turn in their weapons, just so they don't violate the Kansas Board of Regents' new policy! This is a good example of the mental illness of liberalism.Look folks, there is effectively no change in policy (campus killers are typically not university employees) and there will be no change in criminal behavior (criminals will do what criminals always do - not obey the law). In summary this is a very strong signal that we must protect ourselves - period. Those unable to or afraid to should not try it away from home!

warthog 10 years ago

Well, that's just great. How am I supposed to hunt deer on campus now?No, it won't stop criminals, because, like bondman said, criminals will do what criminals do. Just like laws don't keep people from speeding; or running stop signs; or a thousand other things laws are supposed to do. Someone intent on breaking the law will do so. But, like those laws, it gives authorities the right to say, "if you're caught doing this, there are consequences." And that could stop an otherwise honest person by giving them second thought about carrying a weapon that could well be used against them by one of those criminals.I do like the part about criminal background checks for state employees. Even walmart does a background check. It's about time that the state did what most employers have been doing for years.

Patrick Wilbur 10 years ago

What's the estimated cost? Background checks are not cheap.

oldvet 10 years ago

"What's the estimated cost? Background checks are not cheap."Any lawyer would love to hear you say that on the witness stand when they ask you why the person you hired, who (choose the crime) injured the person bringing the personal injury/death lawsuit against you and any organization you represent... Plaintiffs Lawyer: (turning and looking in amazement at the jury) "Because background checks are not cheap..."

stuckinthemiddle 10 years ago

I hope this doesn't mean that KU is going to stop hiring convicted felons:

Patrick Wilbur 10 years ago

oldvet - simply asking an important question that was not addressed in the story. There should be some figures available from KUMC's initiative. I wonder if KBOR even knows what they have approved.There is some validity to a CYA policy here (although you can still be liable - background check or not), but the taxpayers have a right to know the cost.

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