Along with good SAT scores, it now takes passing a background check to get into many colleges as universities explore new ways to make their campuses as safe as possible. Dr. Stephanie Hughes at Northern Kentucky University with Dr. Giles T. Hertz and Dr. Rebecca J. White at University of Tampa surveyed over a hundred higher learning institutes’ background check policies and procedures in their article, “Criminal Background Checks in U.S. Higher Education: A Review of Policy Developments, Process Implementations, and Postresults Evaluation Procedures,” published in Public Personnel Management.
Recent high-profile events involving fraudulent or criminal activity by university employees and students have focused increasing attention on the risk mitigation and management policies of colleges and universities. Despite the increased attention, there is little quantifiable information available to administrators, outside of anecdotal accounts, as they attempt to craft and implement policy surrounding the background check process. This article describes and discusses criminal background check policies and procedures reported by more than 100 U.S. higher education institutions via a web-based survey. The authors offer concluding comments based on the findings of this survey and offer suggestions for future research.