View Bill 18-19-36

Senate Bill 18-19-36

Bill ID: 18-19-36
Name: Policy on Criminal Background Checks for Faculty and Staff Employees
Proposed: 03/26/2019
Sponsor: Jewel Washington - AVP UHR & John Bertot, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs
Proposal: Currently the University of Maryland performs background checks only for those roles/functions that are mandated by federal, state, and applicable USM policies. These roles/functions include individuals working with/in:
- Certain programs involving minors
- Adult dependent populations
- Transportation of hazardous materials
- Law enforcement
- Access to regulated risk, significant hazardous materials, and security safeguards information
- Certain federally‐funded units
- Third parties serving populations that meet Mandatory Criminal Background Checks requirement of USM Policy VII—1.15 who use (lease, rent, license) university facilities

Although we are in compliance with mandated areas, there is no central authority, repository, or centralization for conducting background checks or verifying education, credentials, or prior work history. In addition, there are thousands of employees (faculty, staff, and students) who do not have background checks performed before employment at the university, and these employees often work in occupations that could pose a risk to the University if left unchecked.

Expanding our current screenings to include new hires in all positions is intended to support the verification of credentials, criminal history, and other information related to employment and appointment decisions that assist the University in meeting its commitments to keep our campus safe for students, staff, faculty, and the public. The University has specific requirements under Title IX and implementing these procedures will help ensure compliance with these obligations.

In order to maintain and promote a safer and more secure working and learning environment, the University of Maryland (UMD) is expanding its process for conducting pre‐employment background reviews as a condition of employment. This expansion is authorized per USM Policy VII‐1.15 – POLICY ON CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR FACULTY AND STAFF EMPLOYEES. The requirement will apply to all selected candidates and contract employees for positions within UMD. With the exception of Public Safety, all appropriate background check activities will be coordinated with University Human Resources (UHR) and the Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA).

UHR and OFA have developed explicit, uniform processes and procedures for conducting background checks and verifications for the hiring process.


Status: Under Review
Under Review By: Faculty Affairs Committee and Staff Affairs Committee
Received: 04/08/2019
Decision Due By: 03/30/2020
Actions: A joint subcommittee involving members of the Faculty and Staff Affairs Committees is working on the charge and will report its findings and recommendations to the full committees. The subcommittee met throughout the 2019-2020 academic year. It discussed how the background checks would work in practice, practices at Big 10 and other peer institutions, and the impact of background checks on potential applicants who have criminal or arrest records. It met with representatives of University Human Resources; the Division of Administration & Finance; the University of Maryland Police Department; and the Office of Faculty Affairs. It also reached out to units that may be most affected by this policy due to high turnover rates in order to gather feedback on the impact of a policy of this nature. The subcommittee continues to deliberate on this charge.
Next Step: SEC Review
Related Files:


Reviewed By: Senate Executive Committee (SEC)
Received: 04/01/2019
Decision Date: 04/08/2019
Decision: The SEC voted to jointly charge the Faculty and Staff Affairs Committees with review of the proposal.
Next Step: Staff Affairs and Faculty Affairs Committees Review
Related Files: