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2,530: Background Check Policy for Academic and Administrative Faculty

Revised: February 2014

Purpose

The University is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, staff and all other constituents. The University performs due diligence by requiring a background check for all new employees hired into faculty positions. This policy outlines the details of pre-employment post offer background verification for academic faculty, administrative faculty and post-doctoral scholars.

Application of Policy

This policy applies to all academic faculty, administrative faculty and post-doctoral scholars. NRS 239B.010 authorizes agencies of the State of Nevada, including the Nevada System of Higher Education to obtain information on the background and personal history of persons with whom it intends to enter into an employment relationship.

Definitions

  1. "Credit history check" means checking the credit history of the selected applicant or employee. (Federal laws prohibit discrimination against an applicant or employee as a result of bankruptcy.)
  2. "Criminal history check" means verifying that the selected applicant or employee does not have any undisclosed criminal history in every jurisdiction where the applicant or employee currently or has formerly resided.
  3. "Educational verification" means ensuring the selected applicant or employee possesses all educational credentials beyond high school listed on the application, resume or cover letter or otherwise cited by the candidate that qualifies the individual for the position sought.
  4. "Employee" is defined as any person hired into an academic faculty, administrative faculty or post-doctoral scholar position by the University of Nevada, Reno whether full- or part-time.
  5. "License verification" means ensuring the selected applicant or employee possesses all the licenses listed on the application, resume or cover letter or otherwise cited by the candidate that qualifies the individual for the position sought and verification of any license required for the position, including verification of the disposition of such licenses. This includes any motor vehicle driver licenses required for the associated position.
  6. "Limited criminal history check" means verifying that the selected applicant or employee does not have any undisclosed criminal history in the jurisdiction where the applicant or employee currently resides, or where the applicant or employee last resided, if the applicant or employee only recently moved to a location near the University.
  7. "Sex and violent offender registry check" means verifying the selected applicant or employee does not have undisclosed convictions of certain sex and violent crimes in every jurisdiction where the applicant or employee currently or has formerly resided.
  8. "Adverse information" means facts which are discovered as part of the background check which are unfavorable to the candidate.

Policy Provisions

A background check must be completed on all new academic faculty, administrative faculty or post-doctoral scholar positions as a condition of employment.  Current academic faculty, administrative faculty and post-doctoral scholars with no previous background check moving into a new position through a search must complete a background check.  If a background check was conducted within the last calendar year from the new appointment, another background check will not be required. Employees transferring, promoting, participating in a conversion from a classified position to a faculty position or change in range are not subject to a background check unless moving to a position which requires a credit check. A background check will not be required for internal searches.

Departments authorized to conduct their own background checks shall follow additional legal regulations if required. In such instances, employees must meet departmental specific conditions.

Faculty Human Resources will coordinate the background check with a third party vendor. Depending on the nature of the position, the department may request background information on any of the following information.

  1. Educational verification.
  2. License verification (Hiring Department will verify)
  3. Criminal history check
  4. Sex and violent offender registry
  5. Credit check for certain positions (Hiring Authority to determine)

Foreign nationals who have been offered employment into appointed faculty positions will be subject to the following provisions:

  1. The verification of education the candidate has cited that qualifies the individual for the position.
  2. A criminal history check covering time in the United States if the period of time that the individual has worked in the United States exceeds one year.
  3. A criminal history check in the individual's prior countries of residence only if the individual's visa and/or authorization to work in the United States was issued before implementation of the Patriot Act on October 24, 2001. The University will not require that a criminal history check be conducted in the individual's prior countries of residence if the visa or authorization to work was issued or renewed under the provisions of the Patriot Act.

Use of Background Check Information

The third party vendor that conducts the background check will provide the results of the check to the Faculty Human Resources Office. If the background check reveals adverse information, the Assistant Vice President, Human Resources or designee will conduct the initial review of any adverse information. If the adverse information is job related, the Assistant Vice President, Human Resources will consult with the hiring authority. The final decision for disqualification/termination from consideration for a position lies with the Appointing Authority.

Process and Procedures

  1. A notice on the university's job board will inform all applicants that they are subject to a background check which may include: criminal history, credit history, sex and violent offender registry, education verification, licensure and employment history.
  2. An offer letter of employment must include the following statement: "This offer is contingent on the completion of appropriate background verification which may include criminal history, credit history, sex and violent offender registry, education verification, licensure and employment history to be administered by the University of Nevada, Reno Human Resources Office.
  3. After signed acceptance of the conditional offer of employment, the department will notify Faculty Human Resources to initiate a background check. The hiring department will determine if any additional components (credit history, education verification, licensure and employment history) of the background check will be performed.
  4. If the background check indicates adverse information, the vendor will inform Faculty Human Resources.
  5. If circumstances warrant, the faculty member may be allowed to start working before the results are known. If the background check reveals adverse information, the standard review of this information to determine job applicability would occur. The faculty member could be terminated if the conviction was deemed job related.
  6. Any decision to accept or reject an individual with a conviction is solely at the discretion of the University of Nevada, Reno. (All related information will be treated as confidential, and protected as such.)
  7. All results of criminal and sex and violent offenders' convictions or issues are considered confidential and will be maintained in confidential files within Faculty Human Resources.
  8. The hiring department is responsible for any fees associated with any of the components of the background check process. Faculty Human Resources will help coordinate payment to the vendor.
  9. Decisions regarding the withdrawal of an employment offer as a result of a background check may not be appealed by the applicant.

If Adverse Information Is Reported

  1. If the background check indicates adverse information regarding criminal background, credit history, licensure or employment verification, the vendor will inform Faculty Human Resources. Faculty Human Resources will provide a copy of the report to the applicant. (All related information will be treated as confidential, and protected as such.) The applicant will have an opportunity to explain the adverse information or provide additional information.
  2. The Assistant Vice President, Human Resources or designee will evaluate the adverse information to determine if it is job related and has a possible impact on the position.
  3. Certain types of convictions will automatically preclude hiring individuals into certain positions. For example, individuals with convictions for theft, embezzlement, identity theft or fraud should not be hired with fiduciary responsibilities. Individuals with workplace or domestic violence convictions, crimes of a sexual nature or other behaviors that would be inappropriate in an environment with children and young adults. This list is not inclusive, but illustrative. Other information revealed in background checks, apart from criminal convictions may affect campus employment decisions.
  4. If the criminal history check reveals convictions which the individual disclosed on the Pre-Employment Certification, Faculty Human Resources will review the report with the hiring department and jointly, they will evaluate each conviction, including any additional information the individual provides, before the offer of employment is confirmed or withdrawn. The existence of a conviction does not automatically disqualify an individual from employment. Relevant considerations may include, but are not limited to, the nature and number of the convictions, the amount of time elapsed since conviction, and the relationship a conviction has to the duties and responsibilities of the position.
  5. If convictions are revealed in the criminal history check which the applicant did not disclose on the Pre-Employment Certification, the offer of employment will be withdrawn and, if employed, the individual will be separated from employment, unless the individual shows that the report is in error. In the event that the results of the background check influences a decision to withdraw an employment offer or terminate employment, Faculty Human Resources will consult with the hiring authority for the unit. The final decision lies with the appointing authority. Either the hiring authority or the Assistant Vice President, Human Resources can request the decision be referred to the President or designee for final consideration.

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