ERIC Number: EJ726493
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: N/A
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v37 n4 p6 Jul-Aug 2005
In this era when many Americans seem resigned to greater encroachments on their personal privacy due to the growth and ubiquity of electronic databases with information about almost every aspect of their lives, a recent statement from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) seems timely. The statement highlighted the issue of background checks, including checks of criminal records, that some colleges and universities are undertaking before making appointments to faculty positions. The statement recommends that institutions be guided by "proportionality" in deciding to conduct complete background checks beyond those normally done by faculty search committees. The privacy of a candidate should be compromised only as necessary in order to secure information that may ensure that applicants are qualified to meet the particular obligations of specific positions. It recommends that the three basic protections for employees contained in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act be adopted to govern any extensive background checks found to be necessary. These include informing the candidate of the proposed background check and receiving written authorization from the candidate; giving the candidate a copy of the final report; and taking no adverse action based on the background check "unless and until the prospective employee has had an opportunity to contest or clarify its accuracy."
Descriptors: Search Committees (Personnel), Privacy, Teacher Background, Access to Information, Information Management, College Faculty, Position Papers, Administrative Policy, Security
Heldref Publications, Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation, 1319 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802. Web site: http://www.heldref.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A