U of Illinois says policy on background checks clears review

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois says a law firm it hired to review its policy on background checks has concluded it complies with federal equal opportunity guidelines. The policy approved in September extended criminal background checks to prospective hires for faculty jobs and other academic employee positions. Previously only positions considered security-sensitive required background checks. Some faculty members said the new policy wasn’t needed and could discriminate against minorities. Employment law firm Jackson Lewis of Chicago conducted the review. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that Vice President for academic affairs Christophe Pierre said it concluded the policy is “entirely consistent” with guidelines from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. University officials did not provide a copy of the findings. Checks are conducted only on applicants who have been offered and accepted jobs.