Employee Handbook

3.2 Background Check Policy and Procedure


Take steps that contribute to Macalester College being a safe and inclusive environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Policy Statement

Macalester College Employment Services department is solely authorized to conduct and oversee the Background Check process. All offers of employment for identified faculty and staff positions will be contingent on successfully passing a background check. Background checks will be conducted using a contracted third party and/or appropriate law enforcement agencies.


Information secured for the purpose of extending, maintaining, or retracting an offer of employment will be confidentially maintained by the Employment Services department. For the purpose of making decisions, report contents or portions of the content may be shared with appropriate individuals who have a legitimate business need to know as determined by the Director, Employment Services.

Background Check Scope

All background checks will encompass:

  1. Criminal History Check
  2. Social Security Number Validation
  3. Sex & Violent Offender Registry Check

Depending on the nature of the work being performed, additional components could include:

  1. Pre-employment Physical (Facilities)
  2. Finger print registration and trace through the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) will be conducted on any individual being given access to resident halls.
  3. Motor Vehicle Record

General Provisions

Only candidates that have advanced to the interview stage of consideration will be asked to complete the background check authorization and disclosure from. Candidates who decline to undergo a background check will be disqualified from further consideration.

Employment Services will not consider arrest information unless the arrest resulted in pending criminal charges. In such circumstances, the applicant and/or law enforcement agencies will be contacted to obtain further information in order to assess the relevancy to the position in question. Employment Services will consider convictions disclosed by the applicant or revealed via the process to determine if an employment offer should be extended, maintained, or withdrawn. The presence of a conviction does not automatically preclude an individual from employment.

  1. Any employee with access to student residential rooms will have a fingerprint BCA check if they have not been living in Minnesota for at least 10 years.
  2. Background check may also be required for current employees, faculty members, and student employees who will gain access to student residential rooms.
  3. All job offers where some form of background checking is required must state that employment at Macalester College is contingent upon a successful background check.
  4. Macalester reserves the right to rescind the offer if the nature of or facts related to a conviction and/or the number or frequency of the convictions is inconsistent with employment at an educational institution seeking to provide a safe learning and working environment for its students and employees, or could harm the reputation of the College or relates to the duties and responsibilities of the position.
  5. The prospective employee has the following rights:
    1. To know what the background check report says
    2. To obtain a copy of the report
    3. To challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information in the report
    4. To know if the reason for not being hired is a result of the background check.

Applicant Duty to Disclose

With the exception of minor traffic violations (unless the position requires a motor vehicle record check), an applicant will be automatically disqualified from further consideration if they fail to accurately and fully complete the Background Check Authorization Form. Applicants eliminated due to a failure to disclose will not be eligible for reconsideration for another position at Macalester for a minimum of three years.

Relevancy of Convictions

A conviction will not automatically preclude an individual from employment consideration. Macalester will consider various factors in evaluating whether a conviction disclosed by an applicant warrants revoking a conditional offer of employment:

  1. Nature and frequency of the offense(s),
  2. Time since conviction,
  3. Completion of sentence or any other remediation, and
  4. Relevancy to the position for which the candidate is being considered.

However, as Macalester is committed to providing a safe learning and working environment for its students and employees, the following convictions will typically result in the withdrawal of a conditional offer of employment in the absence of exceptional facts that support special consideration for employment.

  1. Homicide
  2. Manslaughter
  3. Criminal vehicular murder and injury
  4. Assault
  5. Kidnapping
  6. Criminal sexual conduct
  7. Simple and/or aggravated robbery
  8. False imprisonment
  9. Theft and/or burglary
  10. Terroristic threats
  11. Arson
  12. Violation of a harassment and/or stalking statute


  1. Applicant fills out the Background Check Consent Form immediately before or during campus interview process or prior to receiving a contingent job offer.
  2. Employment Services will determine if a fingerprint background check is needed per The Kari Koskinen Manager Background Check Act (MN Statutes, sections 299C.67 to 299C.71).
  3. Background checks must be completed as a condition of employment prior to the individual beginning work, in any capacity, at Macalester.
  4. Employment Services may request additional information from the new employee in order to run the background check.
  5. Employment Services notifies the hiring manager if the result of the background check is not satisfactory.
  6. The Director, Employment Services, with appropriate consultation with the appropriate manager, will determine if the offer needs to be rescinded in cases where the results of the background check are not satisfactory.
  7. A member of Employment Services contacts the prospective new employee if the offer is rescinded due to a failed background check. Notification is followed up with a formal letter to that individual.
  8. Employment Services keeps the result of the background check in a confidential file.

Tenure Track Faculty Hiring Process

Given the extensive nature of a search for tenure track faculty positions, background checks will be conducted on the top finalists being considered for the position and be utilized as one of the many elements of information used to determine which candidate is best suited for the position.