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Background Checks at Universities

Conducting background checks on prospective employees is important for all businesses. It is also critical for universities, where employees may have access to facilities, records, financial data, expensive supplies and equipment, and student residences. Conducting thorough background checks on potential employees can protect students, faculty, staff, and university property and records.

A background check will begin by verifying a candidate's name, address, past addresses, and Social Security number. That information will be used to verify other information, such as education (institution, degree, and major) and past employment. It is essential to verify this information, particularly for teaching positions. You want to hire the most qualified people possible, but candidates may provide inaccurate information about their education or employment experience. A background check will allow you to determine whether a candidate is telling the truth so that you can avoid hiring someone who is unqualified.

Since protecting the safety of everyone on campus, as well as university property and records, is a top priority, your background check should include a review of local, state, federal, and international criminal databases. This search will reveal any convictions for felonies or misdemeanors, time served, and probationary status. It will include all types of crime, including violent or sexual offenses, which may pose a risk to people on your campus, as well as theft or fraud, which might affect the safety of university property and records.

A thorough background check can also examine other aspects of a candidate's history, including drug use, driving record, and credit report. This information can paint a more complete picture of a candidate and reveal any red flags that might indicate the potential for problems down the road.

University administrators have a responsibility to hire the best candidates; protect the safety of students, faculty, and staff; and safeguard property and records. Thoroughly screening potential employees can provide access to information that will enable you to choose the best employees for your university.

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