Criminal background checks proposed for all university employees - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Criminal background checks proposed for all university employees

February 6, 2007

Albany-  There is no universal policy on criminal background checks for The University System of Georgia employees, but that could soon change. Chancellor Erroll Davis has been questioning University Presidents about a more systematic policy that would require criminal background checks for all full time hires. At least one south Georgia university already performs criminal background checks on all employees but others question how the policy would work.

In August of 2001, David Floyd an activities department employee at Albany State University was arrested and charged with child molestation. Now, the University requires all new hires undergo a criminal background check, and while expensive in a statement

ASU President Dr. Everette Freeman said the University, "simply asked what would be in the best interest of ASU and they find it is in the best interest of the University." Students agree.

Sometimes I think because we're adults people tend to overlook our safety, but definitely people should have background checks done, through background checks done before they're employed on a university level working with students," said Joseph Bryant, ASU Chemistry Major.

Right now, Albany Technical College only checks specific employees.

"We already run certain criminal background checks on certain areas of instruction, such as anyone who's going to be working in our child care department, that's require by law so we do criminal background checks on those people as well as the people who work in facilities or maintenance because they have access to the entire campus," said Kathryn Murchison, Albany Technical College PR Manager.

Clinical faculty also receive criminal background checks, now the entire Technical College system could also receive criminal background checks, but many questions must still be answered before the policy can be put into place.

"If a background check comes back and shows there has been a felony would that person be excluded from any position or just certain positions at the colleges, so those questions would have to be answered in this process of implementing the criminal background check throughout the system," said Murchison.

The American Association of University Professors have also questioned the policy and want it only to apply to those with significant security considerations.

If the new policy is adopted, the state and federal criminal history check would cover a minimum of seven years.

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