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3.1.30 Criminal Background Investigation Policy


In order to create a safe and secure work and learning environment, and in accordance with all applicable laws, Illinois State University (ISU) will conduct a criminal background investigation for an applicant or employee who has been hired, appointed, transferred, or promoted into a position designated as security sensitive, including positions employed by or with potential work connected to the Laboratory Schools property, and for all applicants whose employment application indicates a criminal history. Hiring departments may obtain a copy of the most current list of security sensitive positions from the Human Resources website at Human Resources.

Employment is contingent upon a satisfactory criminal background investigation. The determination of "satisfactory" is at the sole discretion of the University. ISU may refuse to hire a finalist, may rescind an offer of employment to a finalist, or may review and terminate the employment of a current employee based on the results of the background investigation process. Criminal background investigations must be completed and the results reviewed prior to the first day of employment for all security sensitive positions. No applicant or employee who is subject to a criminal background investigation may begin working until the criminal background investigation results have been received and cleared by Human Resources.

When a current employee is promoted or transferred into a security sensitive position or their job duties change in such a way as to make the position security sensitive, a criminal background investigation must be completed. Any current employee in a security sensitive position who is convicted of criminal offense must inform the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources of this information. A failure to provide information to Human Resources may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Any applicant or employee who has been hired, appointed, transferred, or promoted into a position requiring a criminal background investigation and is subsequently found to have provided false or misleading information related to the criminal background investigation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Information on the procedure and appropriate forms necessary to complete criminal background investigations can be accessed at the Human Resources website at Human Resources.

Application Disclosure

Applicants for employment through the online recruitment system must indicate if they have ever pled guilty to or been convicted of any criminal offense other than a minor traffic violation. Criminal history information disclosed in response to this question will be reviewed by Human Resources prior to the candidate moving forward in the application process. Any final candidate for employment who failed to disclose criminal history information on the application may be ineligible for employment. If a candidate is removed from consideration in the selection process based on information provided on his/her application, he/she will be notified and may appeal the decision to the Criminal Background Review Committee.


All criminal background investigation findings will be shared with the Criminal Background Review Committee. In addition, Human Resources may discuss questionable or incomplete criminal background investigation results with the employing department or others on a need-to-know basis to ensure that the intent of this policy/procedure is met. Employees are required to maintain confidentiality of all information obtained during the criminal background investigation process.

Position Specific Criminal Background Investigations

Positions with Connection to the Laboratory Schools

ISU is required by law to complete fingerprint based criminal background investigations on all final candidates for Laboratory School positions, including but not limited to Laboratory School superintendent, principals, faculty associates, substitute teachers, graduate assistants, and student workers. Any applicant or employee with assigned work connected to the Laboratory Schools property will be required to complete a fingerprint based criminal background investigation. This also extends to any vendors working in or connected to any Laboratory school property.

Security Sensitive Positions

Security sensitive positions are those having direct and significant impact on the safety and well-being of students, staff, and the institution. Human Resources is responsible for determining positions that fall under the security sensitive definition, in consultation with legal counsel. A criminal background investigation shall be conducted through Human Resources for all finalists for security sensitive positions to ascertain whether the finalist has a criminal record that would indicate unsuitability for University employment in the position for which they have applied. The criminal background investigation process will normally take from two to three days. 

New Security Sensitive Position Designations

Departments may request that positions not currently identified as security sensitive be added to the security sensitive list by submitting the Security Sensitive Position Form to Human Resources. Human Resources, in consultation with legal counsel, will determine if the position falls under the security sensitive definition.

Position Description and Vacancy Notice

Departments should include a statement in each position description and vacancy notice when advertising for a position which requires a criminal background investigation. Please contact your employment consultant in Human Resources for the appropriate language.

Criminal Background Investigation

A criminal background investigation will be facilitated by Human Resources on all finalists for security sensitive positions, positions employed by or with assigned work connected to the Laboratory Schools, and all finalists whose employment application indicates a criminal background. A criminal background investigation is only part of the hiring process and is not meant to serve as a substitute for a pre-employment reference check.

An applicant or employee who refuses to consent to any form of required criminal background investigation, refuses to provide information necessary to conduct the criminal background investigation, or provides false or misleading information in regard to the criminal background investigation will not be considered for the position for which he/she applied.

Human Resources will notify the hiring department contact of the final results of the criminal background investigation. The department can proceed with an offer of employment to an individual for whom no criminal background is found. If the information received indicates any criminal history, the Criminal Background Review Committee will review the information from the criminal background investigation using the guidelines provided below.

Criminal Background Review Committee

The Criminal Background Review Committee is typically comprised of representatives of the following offices: Campus Police, Office of Equal Opportunity, Ethics, and Access, Human Resources, Student Affairs, General Counsel, and any other offices deemed applicable.

Guidelines for consideration of criminal history records and/or employment application disclosure:

1, Criminal background convictions will be considered in determining an individual's suitability for employment, transfer, or promotion, or authorization to engage in a security sensitive role involving minors.

2. In considering criminal history records and/or employment applications that disclose prior criminal history, the

Ccommittee will consider the following:

a. The nature and seriousness of the offenses for which final applicants are convicted;

b. The number of such offenses;

c. Whether such criminal backgrounds are relevant to the nature of the position held or sought;

d. Additional responsive information provided by the candidate regarding their criminal history record, including but not limited to, nature of the crime, evidence of rehabilitation, character references, employment references, educational achievements, the length of time since the last criminal conviction, completion of the sentence, and other mitigating circumstances;

e. The accuracy of information provided to the University; inconsistent information may lead to disqualification.

Notification of Decision/Appeals

An applicant for a position, transfer, or promotion who has had a criminal background investigation completed will be notified by Human Resources in writing of the decision of the Criminal Background Review Committee. A candidate may appeal a decision of the Criminal Background Review Committee in writing to the Chief Human Resources Officer of the University. The appeal letter must be postmarked or delivered to Human Resources (101 Nelson Smith Building, Campus Box 1300) with five (5) calendar days of the date of the letter announcing the decision not to hire or to terminate employment. A candidate will have one opportunity to appeal the Committee's decision.

Initiating body: Human Resources and Office of General Counsel

Contact: Associate Vice President for Human Resources (309-438-8311)

Revised on: 5/2015

2018-12-07T11:07:53.994-06:00 2018