A. Application of Policy
These procedures apply to all final candidates who are offered faculty positions at Gettysburg College. This includes all full-time and adjunct faculty.Faculty who work with Minors are required to complete an additional set of background check clearances (see the Minors and Children on Campus Policy for those procedures).
The College’s academic mission is supported by qualified faculty members, working in a safe and secure environment. It is our intention to ensure that Gettysburg College is hiring the most qualified candidates for our positions with the lowest risk of harm to the institution and its constituents.
Toward that end, these procedures outline the criminal background checks and sex and violent offender registry checks that will be performed for faculty candidates who have been offered a position at Gettysburg College. These procedures provide measures to guard against adverse effects from potential forms of bias in the criminal justice system on the hiring process of Gettysburg faculty.
C. Statement of General Policy
For faculty positions, it is the policy of Gettysburg College that all faculty candidates offered a position have their criminal background records and sex and violent offender registries checked as a condition of employment.
1."National criminal background check" means determining if the new faculty member has any felony or misdemeanor criminal convictions in any jurisdiction where the new faculty member currently resides, or has resided. This verification will check, at a minimum, the previous 7 years, in every jurisdiction covered by the vendor.Some states provide information beyond 7 years.The existence of criminal conviction(s) does not by itself prevent a new faculty member from continuing his/her employment; see section G. of these procedures for further detail. The following convictions need not be reported by applicants, and, if discovered, will not be a detriment to consideration for employment:
a. any conviction or plea that has been pardoned, sealed or expunged by court order, or that has been dismissed pursuant to a pre-trial diversion or accelerated rehabilitative disposition program (ARD);
b. juvenile records, if maintained in juvenile court;
c. isolated summary offenses, such as minor traffic violations,
(multiple summary offenses, including traffic violations will be considered).
2."Sex and violent offender registry check" means verifying the new faculty member does not have convictions of certain sex and violent crimes where the faculty member currently resides or has resided.This verification will check, at a minimum, the previous 7 years in every jurisdiction covered by the vendor.Some states provide information beyond 7 years.
E. Policy Provisions
1. All faculty candidates offered a position shall have the following two checks completed as a condition of employment with Gettysburg College:
a) a criminal background check; and
b) a sex and violent offender registry check.
2. If the College has performed any of the above background checks on an individual within the past 5 years, a new background check of that specific category will not be required.
F. Background Screening Process
1. All written offers of employment shall include the following statement: "This offer is contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background check."
2. Verifications and checks should be completed as soon as possible after an offer of employment to an individual has been extended.
a. The appropriate academic department will notify the Provost’s Office of the recommended final candidate.The Provost will make the offer of employment, and the Provost will inform the candidate that a Provost’s Office staff member will be contacting them for additional information to initiate the background check process.
b. The Human Resources Office will be notified electronically that a person has been hired for a position at the College.This is an automated process.
c. The Human Resources Office will notify the background check screening vendor (CBY Systems).CBY Systems will contact the new faculty member via email (through their QuickApps feature) to obtain all of the necessary information to complete the check (official name, date of birth and social security number).
d. New faculty are instructed to complete the required online forms through CBY within 48 hours.
e. The background check must be completed as soon as possible after an offer of employment has been made and accepted, but certainly within the new faculty member’s first 90 days.
f. For all verifications, the Human Resources Office shall maintain records on faculty and employees.
g. Human Resources will be responsible for all fees associated with any of the components of the background check process, and will coordinate the receipt and payment of the background check vendor's fees through the Recruitment Budget.
G. Process for handling information from background checks
The background check vendor will inform the Human Resources Office of the results. If the Co-Director of Human Resources determines there is insufficient cause for further examination, the candidate will be considered to have satisfied the screening requirements outlined in Section E.
If the Co-Director of Human Resources determines that the candidate’s background check should receive further scrutiny, she will forward the check to the Provost’s office for further review.The following steps will take place:
1. The Provost will provide a copy of the results to the faculty candidate offered the position, and will invite the candidate to respond and/or provide additional information directly to the Provost. If the Provost determines there is insufficient cause for further examination due to the additional information received, the candidate will be considered to have satisfied the background check.
2. If the Provost determines that cause for further scrutiny still remains, he/she will engage in a conversation with the Department/Program Chair.The Provost, after consultation with the Department/Program Chair, will determine whether the information obtained as part of the background screening process makes the candidate unsuitable for employment as a faculty member of the College.
3. Typically, candidates will have two weeks to accept or reject a job offer from Gettysburg College (not to exceed 10 business days). The background check process will not interfere with this intent. The review must be completed within this time frame unless significant problems arise, in which case the Provost will renegotiate the candidate's decision period to accommodate the background check process.
Guidelines: The existence of a criminal conviction does not automatically disqualify an individual from employment. Relevant considerations may include, but are not limited to: the individual's age at the time of the offense; the nature and seriousness of the offense; the amount of time that has elapsed since the offense; any information provided by the individual regarding his/her rehabilitation or good conduct; the duties and responsibilities of the position sought or held by the individual, and the effect of the conviction on the individual's ability to perform these duties. EEOC guidelines (http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm) provide specific instructions about fair application of a criminal background check.
Within the confidential process of their decision making, the Provost and Department/Program Chair should explicitly determine that the criminal record is judged to be correct, that the elapsed time since the conviction is short enough that the crime is still relevant, that the nature and gravity of the offense make it relevant for employment purposes, that the crime did not involve exercise of free speech, and that disparate impact of the criminal justice system on minorities is not an issue in this case.
Any decision to accept or reject an individual is solely at the discretion of Gettysburg College. Since the candidate is not yet an employee of Gettysburg College, the candidate does not have recourse to an appeal of a hiring decision through College procedures.If the College decides to withdraw a conditional offer made to a candidate in whole or in part because of information received as part of the background screening process, the College will comply with the terms of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and send both a pre-adverse action letter and adverse action letter to the candidate.Human Resources will coordinate the Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance process.
H. Offices Responsible for these Procedures
Office of the Provost
J. Review of the Program
The Provost Office will monitor this policy on a periodic basis for consistency. (All related information will be treated as confidential and protected as such.)