Security Sensitive Positions: Academic Staff Members
Thorough background investigations, including a conviction history check, must be conducted before a candidate may be hired into a position defined as security-sensitive.
Certain academic positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are defined as security-sensitive, as required by the Illinois Campus Security Act (Public Act 88-629). Security-sensitive positions are those which require employees to be entrusted with the following:
- the care of or daily close contact with pre-college aged children or resident students at Beckwith Living Center;
- large amounts of cash or other items of significant value;
- controlled substances and direct patient medical care.
Units with positions defined as security-sensitive must conduct thorough background investigations on finalists, which will include calls to references and past employers and, if appropriate, credit history and licensing integrity.
The Illinois State Police will conduct a criminal conviction history check on finalists who are not already checked through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, with the assistance of human resources. In most circumstances, the information obtained will be a criminal conviction check within the State of Illinois. Examples of positions defined as security-sensitive are listed in Attachment I and include summer camp employees and volunteers who fall into one of the categories listed above. No individuals may be hired into security-sensitive positions until all investigations have been completed.
- Job Description: Units should include the following statement in each vacancy notice when advertising for a security-sensitive position:
"This is a security–sensitive position. Comprehensive background checks, which may include but not be limited to a criminal conviction information check, will be conducted."
- Background Checks: Units must conduct a comprehensive background check on finalists for a security-sensitive position, including a criminal conviction information check conducted by the Illinois State Police and facilitated by Academic Human Resources. The background check includes calling references and past employers, and depending on the nature of the position, the unit may also wish to conduct checks on credit history and professional licensing integrity. A criminal conviction history check is only part of the background check and is not meant to serve as a substitute for the above-mentioned reference checks. In most cases, the information obtained from the criminal conviction history check will reflect information about Illinois convictions only. The criminal conviction history check will initially take from one to two weeks. Procedures for conducting those checks are described below.
The Office of Academic Human Resources will notify the unit contact of the final results of this review.The unit can then proceed with an offer of employment to an individual for whom no criminal conviction history is found. If the information received indicates any criminal conviction history, the information will be referred to the UIUC Investigative Review Committee. This committee will determine whether the criminal conviction record is related to the position for which the individual has applied and whether the person would be a security risk in the position. The Investigative Review Committee is comprised of representatives of the following offices: Academic Human Resources, Public Safety, Equal Opportunity and Access, Student Conflict Resolution, and University Counsel.
It should be noted that if a criminal record is found, there could be a delay of several weeks to several months to obtain the detailed information needed to make an educated determination of the security risk. A job offer can not be made contingent on the clearance of a criminal record; the unit must wait for the results of the investigation for the hiring process to proceed. In unusual circumstances, the unit may contact the Office of Academic Human Resources for advice.
- Procedures for Conducting Criminal Background Checks: Units should ask potential academic employees who are candidates for identified security-sensitive positions to complete and sign two forms:
- the UIUC Employment Information Release Form (Attachment II — Duplicate as necessary.); and
- an Illinois State Police Information Request–Non Fingerprint Form (Attachment III — Duplicate as necessary.).
Units should forward both of the original signed and completed forms to the Office of Academic Human Resources (807 S. Wright, Suite 420, MC-310). Please note that the candidate must sign both forms before a conviction history check will be conducted. Units will be notified in writing of the results of the conviction history check and should share a copy of the results with the candidate for whom the check was done.
- Appeals: A candidate may appeal a decision by the Investigative Review Committee in writing to the Committee transmitted via the Office of Academic Human Resources (807 S. Wright, Suite 420, Champaign, IL 61820) within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the letter announcing that decision.
- New Security-Sensitive Position Designations: Units may request that positions not currently identified as security-sensitive be added to the security-sensitive list by submitting a letter of justification through appropriate channels to their respective vice chancellor, or vice president for university administration units. A copy of this request should be sent to the Office of Academic Human Resources. Units may obtain a copy of the most current list of security-sensitive positions from the Office of Academic Human Resources (see Attachment I).
Questions about this policy and its procedures may be directed to the Office of Academic Human Resources (217 333-6747).
Attachment I: Security-Sensitive Academic Positions at Urbana-Champaign (PDF)
Attachment II: Employment Information Release form (PDF)
Attachment III: Example of Illinois State Police Conviction Information Request form