General University Policies Manual
Published: January 27, 2013
Revised: January 29, 2015

Background Checks Policy for Employment and Service


I.  Policy Statement  

Oregon State University (the University) is committed to protecting the security, safety, and health of faculty, staff, students and others, as well as safeguarding the assets and resources of the University.  To meet these objectives, the University will conduct background checks as a condition for providing service as an employee or volunteer.  Hiring practices associated with background checks are to be conducted in a manner that supports the University’s commitment to non-discrimination and non-harassment in hiring practices.


II. Background Checks

A.  Applicability

Individuals seeking to obtain employment or to provide service as an unclassified employee (academic, research and administrative faculty), classified employee (staff members), graduate assistant (graduate research and teaching assistants), student employee, or volunteer shall be subject to background checks. 


B.  Types of Background Checks

One or more of the following background checks or investigations, in addition to reference checks, may be conducted for individuals seeking to provide service to the University:  

  • Employment and military history check

Verification of an individual’s previous employment and military history to ensure the candidate qualifies for the position sought.  Checks include verifying dates of employment or service and reasons for leaving relevant position(s).

  • Education history check

Verification of the relevant post-secondary educational credentials listed on an individual’s application, resume or vita, or otherwise cited by the individual as qualifying him or her for the position sought.

  • Industry-specific credentials check

Verification that the individual possesses the degrees, licenses and certifications listed on the application, resume or vita required for the position sought and that relevant licenses or certifications are current.

  • Criminal history check in accordance with Standard 576-055-0000 et seq. Criminal History Checks.
  • Motor vehicle history check in accordance with Standard 576-056-0000 et seq., Motor Vehicle History Checks.

C.  Disclosure and Authorization of Background Investigation

A subject individual who is being considered for a position may be notified that the University may request, for lawful employment purposes, background information about the subject individual from a third party, consumer reporting or law enforcement agency in connection with the individual’s application for employment or service.

A subject individual must give consent to the University to conduct background investigations referenced herein in order to remain under consideration for employment or to provide service. Refusal to consent is grounds for terminating the subject individual’s candidacy.  A subject individual may not appeal a termination of candidacy due to refusal to consent to a background investigation. 


D.  Criminal History Checks

All criminal history checks must be done in accordance with this Standard and may only be conducted by the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources or his/her designee. The University may require a criminal history check as a condition prior to an applicant, employee, or volunteer providing services in a critical or security-sensitive position. A criminal history check may be required of a person currently serving as an employee or volunteer if he or she seeks appointment to a position that is designated as a critical or security-sensitive position, if the security-sensitive access changes in their current position, if 576-055-0160 applies or if they are in a Youth Designated Program with direct access to persons under 18 years of age.


E.  Background Checks Otherwise Required

State or federal laws or regulations, professional associations, licensing entities, or contracting agencies may impose additional background investigation requirements upon certain University employees or volunteers due to their assigned duties and functions. This policy does not supersede any law, regulation, contractual obligation, or separate policy that may require background investigations on such employees or volunteers.