Blog

 
     

University of Minnesota Adds Ban the Box Policy

By Michael Klazema on 12/13/2016
The University of Minnesota is officially banning the box on its student applications. Per a report from WDAY 6—an ABC affiliate and news station based in North Dakota—the Minnesota state university recently announced the new policy, which will go into effect in 2017. The policy will eliminate questions about criminal history from the admissions application that students must fill out and submit if they are interested in attending the school.

In the past, the University of Minnesota has asked all prospective students if they have any felony convictions on their records. The admissions application has also inquired about whether potential students are facing any pending criminal charges. Per the WDAY 6 report, students applying for admission in fall 2017 or after will no longer have to answer those queries.

Counties, cities, and states across the country have used ban the box policies to bar certain categories of employers from asking candidates about their criminal history. Minnesota is one of the states that, per coverage, has made ban the box policies part of its state legislative agenda. State law requires private employers and public employers alike to scrub questions about criminal history from their job applications.

Usually, as coverage explains, the policies only extend to job applications. While the University of Minnesota could previously have been required to stop asking questions about criminal history on job applications, such questions could remain on admissions applications.

The University of Minnesota is not complying with any laws, ordinances, or other measures in its decision to ban the box for student admissions. Rather, per the institution, the university says that it decided to “ban the box” prospective students because otherwise those criminal history questions might discourage students from applying. Specifically, the university was worried that the policy might be driving away “underrepresented minority populations.”

Since the university doesn’t have to comply with any specific state or regional measures, coverage notes, it can keep certain aspects of its previous policies intact. For instance, the university has said that it will keep questions about sexual offenses and academic dishonesty on the application for admission. Students who have gotten into trouble for academic dishonesty in the past, or those who have been convicted of sex offenses, are still expected to disclose that information on the admission application.

The university has stated that asking about felony history and pending criminal charges is necessary to preserve the safety of its student housing community. Questions about criminal past or present will still be found on the University of Minnesota on-campus housing application.

Sources:

https://www.wday.com/news/minnesota/4173406-u-m-will-ban-box-stop-asking-applicants-about-criminal-history

http://www.nelp.org/content/uploads/Ban-the-Box-Fair-Chance-State-and-Local-Guide.pdf

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • January 15 A viral news story at The Cleveland Clinic has reignited the debate over social media background checks. The hospital recently fired a medical resident with a history of anti-Semitic tweets.
  • January 10 To remain a competitive employment option for retail workers, Best Buy will begin offering childcare options for parents. 
  • January 07 The rise of the "gig economy" was rapid, and questions about safety for users of these new services grew along with the industry. Background check policies in the gig economy can be unclear or unevenly applied, leading to barriers for some seeking jobs.
  • January 04 A new service that offers background checks for babysitters has come under fire for racial bias, invasion of privacy, and non-compliance with FCRA requirements. Predictim has paused its launch due to controversy.
  • December 20 Trust between patient and practitioner is a critical part of a strong healthcare system. An investigation uncovered hundreds of doctors practicing in new locations after giving up their licenses following serious mistakes.
  • December 13

    As the food truck fad proves it has staying power, many local governments have looked for ways to protect their communities without constraining economic activity. The effort to strike the right balance is ongoing.


  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 11 What are education verification checks and why are they important? We look at why and how employers confirm the education histories of the people they hire.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.