Human Resources

UT Institutes New Pre-employment Requirement

Posted January 12, 2011
Updated April 16, 2014

The University of Tennessee has instituted a new pre-employment requirement regarding background checks for employees.

Effective January 1, 2011, all new hires among regular faculty and staff will be subject to background checks. The background check will be conducted for successful candidates before the job is officially offered. A job offer is contingent upon a successful background check.

Current employees who apply for certain internal positions will be required to undergo background checks. These positions include ones working with security, finances, children or the use of master building keys.

There is some variation among each campus and institute on including new term, LDA and adjunct faculty hires. Here is a list of employment categories listed for each campus and institute.

Human Resources and the University believe conducting pre-employment background checks is a step toward ensuring a safer environment for all of our employees, students and visitors.

For more information, please call Ashlie Czyz at 865-974-6642.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does the background check involve?

The background check will include the following:
Analyzed Social Security Number Search
County Criminal Records Search
Federal Criminal Records Search
National Criminal Records Search
National Sexual Offender Database Search
Motor Vehicle Registration (MVR) Driving History
Sanctions Base Search (Patriot’s Act)

2. At what point during the application process will the background check be conducted?

Whenever possible, the background check will be conducted prior to a job offer being made.  If circumstances necessitate that a job be offered before completion of a background check, the job offer must be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

3.How much do the background checks cost?

The university will pay for the background check.

4. Will the applicants have to pay for the background checks?


5. What is the purpose of the background check?

The university is instituting this requirement as a step toward providing a safer environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors.

6. Why are background checks required for new employees but only some areas for current employees applying for internal positions?

The University made the determination that it was financially unfeasible to conduct background checks on all current employees.  However, the University will conduct background checks on employees who are hired internally for safety-sensitive positions, i.e., positions involving children, positions in which the employee has access to money or master keys, or positions in security or law enforcement.

7. Was there a particular incident that led to this decision?

No. The university believes conducting background checks is a good practice.

8. Are student employees required to get background checks?

Where background checks are not already being conducted by departments, the University will conduct background checks on students when they are being hired for certain safety-sensitive positions.

9. Prior to this implementation, did any positions require background checks?

Yes, security positions and positions with access to money, children or master building keys have always required background checks for their employees. Also on the Knoxville Campus, background checks were previously required for employees being hired in the Student Affairs division.

10. Does an applicant have to provide any information beyond application materials for the background check?

All applicants must fill out and sign a Release, Authorization and Fair Credit Reporting Act Disclosure form.