Oregon State University is committed to protecting the security, safety, and health of faculty, staff, students and the public; as well as, safeguarding the assets and resources of the University. To meet these objectives, the University has adopted new Oregon Administrative Rules, OAR 576-055-0000 to 0160 and 576-056-0000 to 0130, and is announcing the University’s Background Checks Policy for Employment and Service.
Criminal History Checks will be conducted as a condition prior to any applicant, employee or volunteer providing services in a critical or security-sensitive position. All categories of unclassified employees, classified employees, graduate assistants, student employees, volunteers and job applicants may be subject to this check. To ensure confidentiality and consistency of process across campus, all criminal history checks will be conducted by the Office of Human Resources, in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety. All criminal history checks will be conducted in a manner that supports the University’s commitment to non-discrimination.
Critical or security-sensitive designated positions are identified using criteria described in OAR 576-055-0020 and in consultation with the hiring supervisor. These are positions with primary duties containing the following access types: direct access to persons under 18 years of age or access to student residence facilities; access to and control over information technology systems; access to confidential information, where disclosure is prohibited; access to property where hazardous materials are located; access to laboratories, nuclear facilities or utility plants where access is restricted to protect the health or safety of the public; fiscal; financial aid, payroll or purchasing responsibilities as one of the person’s primary responsibilities; access to personal information such as social security numbers, dates of birth, driver license numbers, medical information, personal financial information or criminal background information; and, access to or responsibility for the care, safety and security of animals. 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.
Criminal History Checks may be fingerprint-based or non-fingerprint-based dependent on residency history of the applicant, access types of the critical or security-sensitive position, or the necessity to verify the identity of an applicant. The University has conducted criminal history checks under the existing Oregon University System’s rule. With the adoption of Oregon State University’s new OAR, the following areas have been strengthened and more clearly defined:
- Defines “Youth Program” as activities and events specifically directed to children 17 years of age or younger. Youth Programs include activities and events directed towards achieving goals of youth development, academic enrichment, recreation, or enrollment in postsecondary education. Such activities and events may be conducted on- or off-campus by University faculty, staff and approved volunteers.
- Allows for a non-fingerprint-based criminal history check to be conducted every two years following date of hire, initial service date, or position assignment for an employee or volunteer providing service in a University-sponsored Youth Program.
- Requiring all employees and volunteers whose position descriptions have been designated as critical or security sensitive to notify the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources or Associate Director for Employee Relations, Classification and Compensation, if they are convicted of a crime relevant to determination of fitness for their position.
- Failure to report relevant crimes and convictions may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Such report allows the University to require a criminal history check to confirm the report.
It is the intent of the Office of Human Resources to annually remind employees and volunteers whose position descriptions are designated as critical or security sensitive of the requirement to report relevant convictions. All solicitations, application forms, and announcements for positions designated as critical or security-sensitive will include a statement notifying potential applicants of the intent to request consent to conduct a criminal history check and the fact that such consent will be required for employment or service consideration.
If you have questions, or would like additional information please contact us at employee.relations at oregonstate.edu.