Sexual Misconduct Reference Check


OSU’s Sexual Misconduct Reference Check is a process of inquiring with current and former employers regarding a candidate’s history related to violations of an employer’s sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or closely related policy.

This check is required for final candidates for high-level administrator positions and PAC instructors. High-level administrator positions are positions within OSU’s professional faculty job category and compensation structure at job level EX1, EX2, EX3, and includes regular, interim, and acting appointments. PAC instructors are instructors for physical activity courses. This check applies to searches conducted by OSU as well as those conducted through a contracted search firm.        

All offers to final candidates for these positions are contingent upon a satisfactory background check, which includes the sexual misconduct reference check.

These checks are facilitated by Human Resources.

More information is available in the Sexual Misconduct Reference Check section of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) page. | Process Map


Details of sexual misconduct reference checks will not be shared with the hiring unit or any other unit that does not have a business need to know. If it is determined that a candidate is ineligible for a position, the hiring unit will only be notified that the candidate is ineligible for employment in that position.

What to Expect - Candidates

  1. After you accept a contingent offer of employment, you will receive a self-disclosure and authorization to release information form. This grants OSU authorization to seek information from current and former employers regarding substantiated findings of sexual misconduct and also authorizes those employers to disclose the information to OSU. 

  • The form will request you to self-disclose whether you have been the subject of any findings of sexual misconduct.

  • After Human Resources receives your completed form, Human Resources will reach out to your current and former employers.

    • If an employer declines to respond or does not do so promptly, HR will document their good faith efforts. 

    • If an employer declines to provide a copy of final documentation or does not otherwise respond adequately, Human Resources will request that you obtain and provide a copy of the relevant documentation.

Failure to complete the self-disclosure and authorization to release information form, as well as any dishonesty in response to inquiries about sexual misconduct, may be used as grounds for withdrawal of the offer of employment. 

Findings of sexual misconduct discovered after you have begun employment with OSU will result in discipline up to and including termination of employment, subject to disciplinary rules and procedures applicable to the terms and conditions of your employment at OSU.

What to Expect - Hiring Units

  1. Complete the recruitment, evaluate candidates, and select your final candidate.

  2. Consult with the appropriate Human Resources team prior to extending an offer.

  3. Make an offer of employment to your candidate, contingent on a satisfactory sexual misconduct reference check, and any other required background check.

  4. If your candidate accepts your contingent offer of employment:

    • Tell your candidate to look for an email message from Human Resources with the subject line "OSU Sexual Misconduct Reference Check for [NAME]". The email and linked documents provide an explanation as well as instructions to complete the release form.

    • Encourage the candidate to act on this email immediately as any delay in doing so may impact when they can begin their new position.

    • Instruct the candidate to notify you if they do not receive the email as expected. If this occurs, notify Human Resources immediately.

  5. After Human Resources receives the completed form from the candidate, Human Resources will reach out to the candidate's current and former employers.


After a candidate submits a completed and signed form, the process typically takes three to five (3-5) business days. Timing is impacted by various factors, such as the number of employers, the ability to contact employers, etc.


If a sexual misconduct reference check returns satisfactory results, the Background Check team will notify the hiring unit that your background check is complete.

If a misconduct reference check returns results that required additional review and are relevant to employment at OSU, the candidate will receive outreach from Human Resources with instructions for next steps. Final decisions are made by the designed Employee and Labor Relations lead. Additional information about this process is available on the Background Check home page in the Review of Background Check Results and Employment / Service Eligibility Determination section.

  • Remember: a history of substantiated sexual misconduct findings does not automatically prevent an individual from being employed by OSU.

If it is determined that a candidate is ineligible for a specific position, Human Resources will let the candidate and hiring unit know the decision via email. Such decisions can be appealed, and instructions for how to appeal will be in the decision email sent to the candidate.

After the Background Check is Complete

You will receive additional information and documents for the hiring process. The information and documents are typically sent within one to two (1-2) weeks of your start date, given that your background check process is complete. These will be sent to you via email. Delays in your background check may impact your start date and the timing of receiving the new hire information and documents.

External Inquiries Made to OSU

All inquiries made to OSU, regarding a current or former employee, by external institutions, organizations, and agencies, regarding violation of OSU’s sexual misconduct policy and related guidelines should be referred to Human Resources at [email protected].

OSU reserves the right to require the submission of its own authorization documents prior to disclosing information to external parties.

Release of information about current and/or former employees of Oregon State University will only occur upon receipt of a written authorization form signed by the subject individual or otherwise acknowledge in a way that could be reasonably tied to the subject individual (e.g. email, electronic signature, written verification of personal information by the individual like OSU ID or last four digits of SSN.). Typed-in or printed names do not fulfill the signature requirement.