3.31 / Background Checks for Employment

  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this statement is to set forth University policy responsive to Board of Regents policy (adopted May of 2008) requiring employee background checks on new hires.

  2. Preamble

    Regents policy requires that each state university require a criminal background check on each person hired for a state university position, other than temporary or limited term employees employed for six months or less or student hourly employees. This statement is intended as the University's plan for implementing Regents policy.

  3. Policy

    1. For purposes of this policy, a criminal background check shall include:
      1. Criminal history record searches for felony and misdemeanor convictions at the county and federal levels in every jurisdiction where the candidate currently resides or has resided. Such searches should cover a minimum of the last seven years.

      2. Sex offender registry searches at the county and federal levels in every jurisdiction where the candidate currently resides or has resided.

      3. Other verifications as required by law for specified positions.

    2. As of and after September 1, 2008, a criminal background check must be conducted prior to the extension of an offer for employment, or as part of an offer of employment that is made contingent upon a successful criminal background check, on each person hired for a faculty position, an unclassified professional position, a university support staff position or a graduate assistantship at Wichita State University that will continue for a term longer than six months. Criminal background checks will not be required for positions to be filled by a vendor or contractor; interns; and unpaid volunteers.

    3. All job advertisements from Wichita State University shall refer to the Board of Regents requirements regarding criminal background checks and advise job applicants of the necessity of providing a release for the University to perform the required criminal background check. No criminal background check shall be performed without prior authorization and a release from the job applicant.

    4. A criminal record1 will not automatically disqualify a candidate from employment with the University. University personnel will review the nature and relevance of the candidate's criminal record in relationship to the position offered, as well as review subsequent employment and conduct to seek to determine if that criminal history reasonably bears upon the candidate's trustworthiness, or the safety or well-being of the University's faculty, staff, students, visitors and guests.

    5. Any applicant who is not extended an offer of employment and/or whose contingent offer of employment is withdrawn as a consequence of the results of a criminal background check shall be so advised and informed of the determined relevance of the information received from the criminal background check. The applicant will be allowed to provide responsive information regarding their criminal history record, including evidence of rehabilitation, educational achievements, and the length of time since the last criminal conviction and other extenuating circumstances or factors of mitigation.

    6. Records gathered as part of a criminal background check shall be maintained in a secure, confidential location. Information regarding the review will be shared only with those responsible for or reasonably involved with the hiring decision.

    7. Wichita State University reserves the right to require a criminal background check that is more extensive than that set forth in paragraph 1 above and/or to require a criminal background check for positions other than those set forth in paragraph 2 above. In addition, Wichita State University shall implement any additional requirements imposed by law or contract with regard to certain positions.

    8. Wichita State University shall comply with applicable provisions and requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and K.S.A. 22-4710, as amended.

    1 A criminal history record does not include an individual's arrest record or any conviction records that have been sealed by court order.

  4. Implementation

    This policy shall be included in the WSU Policies and Procedures Manual and shared with appropriate constituencies of the University.

    The General Counsel shall have primary responsibility for publication, dissemination and implementation of this University policy.