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Criminal Background Check FAQ

Why does the University need to conduct background checks?

It is in the best interest of the University of Kansas to make employment decisions that are conducive to provide a safe and healthy environment in which students, faculty, staff and visitors can productively engage in areas related to our mission of teaching, research and service. Requiring background checks for prospective new hires also puts the University in compliance with Kansas Board of Regents policy, Section II.F.2.f. 

Who is subject to a criminal background check?

A background check is required for any newly hired or rehired (after a break in service for one year or longer) regular or temporary faculty, lecturer, and staff positions, current or new faculty/staff members appointed to “serve at the pleasure positions”, salaried student employees (including Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, and Graduate Assistants), and limited term appointments.

Are background checks required for temporary faculty or staff appointments?

Background checks are required for newly hired faculty and staff positions serving on a temporary appointment. Student hourly positions will be subject to a Sexual Offender registry check prior to hire.  However, full background checks may be conducted for student hourly appointments at the discretion of the hiring department.  Full background checks are encouraged for positions with job responsibilities that include direct contact with students, broad access to campus facilities, or monetary/credit card transactions.  Student hourly positions that include working with non-KU student minors are required to have a full background check.  Such positions include, but are not limited to, tutors in public schools and summer camp counselors.

Are Student Hourly positions subject to the completion of a background check?

All student hourly positions are required to a Sexual Offender registry check prior to hire.  However, full background checks may be conducted for student hourly appointments at the discretion of the hiring department.  Full background checks are encouraged for positions with job responsibilities that include direct contact with students, broad access to campus facilities, or monetary/credit card transactions.  Student hourly positions that include working with non-KU student minors are required to have a full background check.  Such positions include, but are not limited to, tutors in public schools and summer camp counselors.

 

Who performs the “background check” and what does it consist of?

At the time of offer, candidates requiring a background check will be required to complete a Background Check Authorization Form at the time of accepting his/her online offer.  Upon the completion, the information is sent to an external vendor to complete that check according to the provisions outlined within the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The background check will consist of a social security trace, a criminal history in county and state records, a national sexual offender check, and a check against the federal criminal history database at both current and past residences for a minimum of seven years. A national sex offender check will also be made on any surnames previously used within the last seven years by the applicant. Results of background checks will not include any expunged or civil court records.

Are international (non U.S. citizens or permanent residents) applicants subject to background checks?

Yes. In the event the international applicant’s previous employer or institution is based in the United States or the individual has been residing within the U.S. for 30 days or longer, the applicant will need to have a U.S. background check completed. In the event the international applicant is not coming immediately from a U.S. based employer or institution, but from a country outside of the U.S., the background check requirement will be fulfilled by the extensive check conducted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services upon receipt of the visa application.

Is this the only background check completed on prospective employees?

No. If the position is associated with a laboratory registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration or if the position is required by law to include subsequent background checks, such procedures and regulations will be conducted as required. 

Are background checks required for Affiliates, Adjunct or Volunteer Appointments?

Not at this time.

Does the background check need to be completed before verbally offering the employee the position?

Some units elect to complete a background check prior to making a verbal offer although it is not required by policy. However, all verbal offers made are conditional based upon the candidate’s successful completion of the background check.

What if any subsequent information will be required by the candidate?

Candidates completing the Background Authorization Form at the time of accepting the online offer will not need to provide any additional information unless there is a discrepancy found on the background check.  Depending upon the nature of the conviction identified, a meeting with a Human Resources official may be requested.

How long does it take for a background check to be processed?

On average, background checks for U.S. citizens and permanent residents generally take up to 72 hours or three working days.

The results of the background check have shown that the applicant has falsified or provided incomplete application materials. Are there consequences?

Yes. If it is determined that at any step during the hiring process that an applicant has falsified or provided incomplete information, it may result in the candidate’s disqualification of employment, withdraw of the job offer, or termination.

What happens if a criminal conviction is identified during the background check process?

If the background check shows criminal convictions for the candidate selected, the criminal record(s) will be reviewed by staff at Human Resources.  Depending upon the nature of the conviction and the position applied form, Human Resources may be in consultation with the General Counsel’s Office and the Office of the Provost. A criminal record will not automatically disqualify a candidate from University employment. Criminal records are reviewed for factors such as: severity of the offense, the length of time since the offense, and nature of employment offered. An interview with the candidate may also be requested.

An employee has started work prior to the completion of the background check. What happens if the University determines that the employee does not satisfactorily complete the background check?

The employee will be terminated immediately by Human Resources.

Will there be a financial impact to the Department, Center, Unit, College, or School when running a background check?

Yes. Units will be expected to cover the costs of all background checks administered. Funding for the background check will be asked at the time the position is posted by your Recruitment and Onboarding or Shared Service Center Representative. 

May the results of the background be appealed?

In the event the Dean, Vice Provost or Center Director disagrees with the decision that a prospective candidate is ineligible for hire based upon results of the background check, he/she may appeal to the Provost for final determination. However, the decision of a failed background check is not subject to appeal by the candidate or existing employee.

 


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