ERIC Number: EJ893678
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 20
Homeland Security Initiatives and Background Checks in Higher Education
Hughes, Stephanie; Keller, Eileen Weisenbach; Hertz, Giles T.
New Directions for Institutional Research, n146 p51-62 Sum 2010
In recent years, colleges and universities have faced a new challenge. While there has been a movement underway on college campuses to increase the safety of a wide range of university constituents through criminal background checks (CBCs), in most cases this movement has failed to include CBCs of foreign faculty and student populations. The arguments given for why universities do not incorporate international CBCs on foreign employees and students include cost, limited access, the accuracy and timeliness of these checks, and an assumption that the check has already been conducted by the U.S. government, before the person entered the country. This chapter presents an examination of policies and procedures for background checks for students, faculty, and staff of higher education institutions related to homeland security issues and concerns. The authors provide an analysis of the increase in the use of background checks over recent years as higher education institutions seek to increase the safety of their students and employees. Included is a discussion of the lack of use of background checks for foreign faculty and students and the resulting gaps in safety enhancement, along with suggestions on how institutional research and planning offices can be of assistance in policy development in this area. The authors also review the legal issues related to background checks; how homeland security initiatives affect universities; the student visa process and background check processes; implications of the existing procedures and gaps related to background checks; and some final thoughts on whether the legislation enacted since 9/11 has improved campus and workplace safety.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Campuses, Crime, Background, Investigations, Foreign Nationals, Foreign Students, National Security, Information Policy, Legal Responsibility, Employees, Institutional Research, Safety, Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A