6.22.1—University Background Checks Procedure


Michigan Technological University is committed to providing a safe environment for its students, faculty, and staff in support of its educational mission. This procedure supports the University’s efforts to minimize institutional risk, employ best practices when hiring, and assist hiring authorities in making sound hiring decisions by detailing the process for successful and accurate background checks on potential employees.


  1. A consumer disclosure and authorization form which is provided during the online employment application process is required to be completed by:

    a) Final candidates for all regular and contractual full-time and part-time staff and faculty positions.

    b) All new short-term, casual, seasonal employees.

    c) Rehired short-term, casual, seasonal employees who had a break of employment of more than 9 months.

  1. Candidates are informed that a background check is a prerequisite to any University position. The candidate’s refusal to submit the authorization form will constitute a withdrawal from the process.  

  1. The background check will be initiated by Human Resources and may be conducted by university personnel or by a University approved third party consumer reporting agency.  Any written or verbal offers of appointment extended to any prospective or current employee must clearly state that the offer is contingent on satisfactory background check results, including degree verification when applicable.  

  2.  The results of the background check will be sent to an authorized individual in the hiring process. If questionable results are obtained the Chief Human Resources Officer (or designee) will review the adverse information and determine next steps which may include, but not be limited to:

          a) Determine the information is not applicable to the job and proceed with the hire.

          b) Determine that the adverse information excludes the candidate from consideration.

          c) Consult with the hiring department to determine if the adverse information is applicable  to the job in order to determine next steps.

          d) Contact the candidate to provide him/her with an opportunity to explain the results and provide clarifying information.

Prior criminal convictions do not automatically preclude employment.

  1. In consultation with the relevant unit administrator(s), the Chief Human Resources Officer will evaluate the relevancy of the candidate’s criminal history to the position the candidate is seeking. The CHRO may also seek advice and guidance from other University offices, such as the Department of Public Safety and Police Services or outside counsel.

  1. The assessment of a candidate’s criminal history will take into account:

    a) The nature and gravity of any criminal offense(s);

    b) The number and type of offense (felony, misdemeanor, traffic violations, etc.);

    c) The sentence or sanction for the offense and compliance with the sanction(s);

    d) The amount of time that has passed since the offense and/or completion of the sentence(s);

    e) Whether there is a pattern of offenses;

    f) Whether the offense arose in connection with the candidate’s prior employment;

    g) Information supplied by the candidate about the offense(s);

    h) Work record and references after the offense(s);

    i) Subsequent criminal activity; and

    j) Truthfulness of the candidate in disclosing the offense(s).

  1. The University may decline to hire any candidate whose criminal history the University deems incompatible with the position the candidate is seeking.

  1. Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

  1. In order to provide the maximum degree of protection for candidates’ privacy, all records related to background checks will be maintained in secured, access-restricted personnel files. Background check records will be maintained on a confidential basis to the maximum extent allowed by law.

Any candidate who fails to disclose or provides false or misleading information will be eliminated from further consideration. If false or misleading information is discovered after an individual has been appointed, the individual’s employment may be terminated pursuant to the appropriate dismissal procedures.

Related Information

  1. The University will rely on the background check conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in lieu of a University background check for individuals coming to the University directly from residence outside the United States.

  1. Nothing in this Policy negates the possibility that a more comprehensive background check may be required pursuant to state or federal law or for certain sensitive positions (such as executive positions or those with significant financial responsibilities).


04/08/2019 Updated policy language. Removed "promotions or department transfers" from item 1 in the "Process" section.
04/10/2017 Transfer of policy page from HTML to CMS. Business and Finance numbers renamed from "2.6000" to "6. Human Resources". Specifically from "2.6022.1—University Background Checks Procedure" to "6.22.1—University Background Checks Procedure".