Duke University Requiring Anyone Working with Minors to Complete a Background Check

By Michael Klazema on 9/4/2012

Effective September 1st of this year, officials at Duke University in North Carolina are requiring everyone on campus who works in programs or activities with minors to undergo criminal background checks and to complete special training. There is also a requirement that all staff, faculty and students report abuse or suspected abuse to authorities. Every year, Duke is the host to anywhere from 8,000 to 9,000 students younger than 18 years old participating in various academic programs, atheletic camps, art festivals, and a host of other learning activities. Vice president for administration, Kyle Cavanaugh, said that it is the responsibiltiy of everyone at the university to protect these young people. He said the requirement to report any suspected abuse “is simple and empowers anyone to act.”

As of September 1st, all Duke programs open to minors must register with the university’s Corporate Risk Management office and be a staff or faculty member. The policy will require the registered programs to conduct background checks on anyone in the programs working with minors and to complete the required training that aims to educate about and protect against abuse. Program requirements, along with instructions are available on the Duke Event Management Website. Cavanaugh met with campus staff and coaches who regularly work with minors in order to talk about the reporting requirements. Cavanaugh said that “the recent tragic events” at other universities necessitated that they “revisit…policies and seek…improvement” even though they already “had policies and procedures in place.”

Some of the policies have already been implemented over the summer, such as with the Duke Talent Identification Program, or TIP, where background checks and training were given to staff members working with minors. TIP’s domestic education director, Shayne Goodrum, said she was happy to answer questions from parents regarding the new abuse policy. She said that they fielded many more calls about safety this summer than previously. Goodman said that TIP has about 4,000 young people participating in multiple locations, and they have always maintained a safe environment for students. The new policy does not apply to Duke students under the age of 18, minors employed by or acting as interns in laboratories headed by a dean or directors, or those working in health care on campus, since those programs already have their own policies in place.

When it comes to the safety of minors, more universities are implementing stronger background check requirements. Officials realize it is in the best interest not only of the children, but for the reputation of their school. The same can be said for any business employing workers who will have access to children. Don’t leave the safety of children or your business to chance. By using a reputable company like, you can be assured you are getting the best and most thorough background check screening techniques available. With access to more than 430 million criminal records nationwide, they have many options available, several with instant results. Their US AliasSEARCH is a multi-faceted search that combines US OneSEARCH with the known aliases provided from a SSN trace. All information derived from this search is run through the US OneSEARCH instant criminal database, assuring all possible aliases are found. Or try their US Offender OneSEARCH, which is includced in their comprehensive US OneSEARCH. The data includes sex offender information from 49 states (plus Washington D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico) with photos.

About - - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and cofounder of the Expungement Clearinghouse - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit



Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.

  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.

  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.