University of Illinois Withdrew 35 Job Offers in 2017 Due to Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 2/15/2018
The University of Illinois has revealed statistics about its background check policies and job offers from 2017. According to a report from the State-Register Journal, U of I rescinded 35 job offers because of background check reports last year.

The University of Illinois updated its background check policies in 2015, implementing the new rules in October of that year. Before the shift, the university had only been conducting pre-employment background checks on people whose jobs would involve working with money, children, or hospital patients. Since 2016, U of I has been running pre-hire background checks on almost all employees, including professors and other faculty members. 

Two years past the implementation of the new background check policy, the University of Illinois is looking at how the rules have impacted hiring decisions. In 2017, the university conducted about 11,700 background checks. That figure accounts for all the hires or job offers made across U of I’s three campuses: Chicago, Urbana-Champaign, and Springfield. Of those 11,700 background checks, 35 prompted the university to rescind job offers.

The campus-by-campus breakdown of rescinded job offers saw the most red-flag background checks at the Chicago campus. There, U of I pulled 22 job offers due to background check findings, compared to 12 at Urbana-Champaign and one at the Springfield campus. The Springfield campus has about 5,000 students and is considerably smaller than Urbana-Champaign (just under 48,000 students as of fall 2017) and Chicago (where enrollment is roughly 30,000).

The checks that led the university to withdraw employment offers account for 0.3 percent of all employee background checks. The number represents a considerable uptick from U of I’s 2016 statistics. During the first year of the new background check policies, the university conducted slightly more background checks—11,815—but only pulled job offers in 11 cases. Those figures equate to less than 0.1% of background checks leading to job offer rescindments. 

One of the big news items when U of I approved the new background check policy in 2015 was the fact that professors and faculty members were not pleased with the change. So far, it appears that the policy is hardly affecting faculty: of the 35 job offers withdrawn due to background check findings in 2017, only one was for an academic profession job. The other 34 were for “civil service or other jobs,” according to the State-Register Journal report.

In addition to criminal record checks, the University of Illinois screening policy includes several other types of background checks. U of I requires candidates for some positions to undergo verification checks for past employment, education, and professional licenses. All three verification checks are available from, as are reference verification checks.


Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • March 20 Employers who use E-Verify must follow the proper steps and procedures when they receive a “tentative non-confirmation notice” from either the Social Security Administration or Department of Homeland Security. Failure to follow the proper procedures can cost employers both time and money. 
  • March 20

    Four Department of Commerce employees are out after their background checks resulted in security clearance denials. All four had worked high-ranking positions for months despite incomplete background checks.

  • March 15 As more states legalize the recreational use of cannabis, they contend with the emergence of new industries surrounding marijuana cultivation and production. 
  • March 14 In most cases, it is easy to determine where an issue might show up on a pre-employment background check. Citations for traffic violations or reckless driving charges will appear on a motor vehicle record check. Verdicts in a civil court case will show on a civil court background check. And criminal convictions—from petty theft to violent felonies—show up on criminal background checks.
  • March 13 How many years back do employment background checks go? This question can have multiple different answers depending on the situation.
  • March 13 A new bill in Florida would require landlords of apartment complexes to present tenants with verifications of employee background checks to give them peace of mind the people working in and around their homes are trustworthy.
  • March 08 Police officers working with the University of Texas at Arlington recently arrested a man who had avoided police capture on a warrant out of Oregon for nearly two decades. The man, whose real name is Daniel Charles Ray Hanson, spent those 17 years using a variety of fake names and identification documents to move around the country, often engaging with educational institutions under false pretenses. Police say Hanson regularly went by at least three different aliases. He sports a rap sheet that stretches back to an arson conviction in 1995. 
  • March 07

    The Future of EEOC Guidance in Texas Is Up in the Air

    The EEOC issued guidance in 2012 warning employers about the dangers of enforcing categorical policies to bar candidates with criminal histories. That guidance is not enforceable in Texas thanks to a recent court ruling.

  • March 05 Vermont is the latest state to restrict employers’ access to and use of social media accounts of employees and applicants. 
  • March 01 In an age of "industry disruptors" turning established business models on their heads, companies such as Uber and Lyft rely on a unique workforce of individuals outside the traditional employer-employee context. Uber calls them "partners" while other businesses refer to them as "independent contractors," the official classification these individuals use for tax purposes. Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) revealed they had warned a business, Postmates, for misclassifying their staff as independent contractors. In the NLRB's determination, these individuals were employees.