Friday, September 18, 2015

Faculty Union Wins Bid to Halt Background Checks in Pennsylvania

The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 17th, 2015
A state judge has ordered Pennsylvania’s public-colleges system to stop making faculty members undergo criminal-background checks, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties had asked the judge to issue the injunction on the grounds that the vast majority of faculty members don’t teach minors. In his order, Judge Dan Pellegrini said any faculty member who teaches high-school students or comes into contact with minors regularly must submit to the checks.
A spokesman for the State System of Higher Education, Kenn Marshall, said the background checks were now on hold. “It is disappointing,” the system said in a statement, that the faculty union “sees this as a bargaining issue rather than as an important tool for enhancing safety and security of everyone who comes onto our campuses, especially the most vulnerable.”
The background checks were instituted as part of state legislation enacted after the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Pennsylvania State University.

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