University Business - September 2012 - (Page 6)

E D I TO R ’ S N OT E Penn State Fallout I n the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Pennsylvania State University has announced a program of performing background checks on all new hires. It’s just one of a number of penalties imposed on the university since the sex abuse charges came to light. Let’s take a second to review some of the damage wreaked by that scandal. It led to the conviction of Sandusky on 45 counts of abuse, the firing of legendary football coach Joe Paterno for not acting on information he had, and the dismissal of university president Graham Spanier—to say nothing of the victims of the crime. Add that to the punitive measures of $60 million in fines, a four-year postseason ban (including the Big Ten conference championship game), and the vacating of all Penn State victories from 1998 through 2011. And, last month, the Middle States Commission on Higher suing a doctorate in chemistry and has an assistantship. “The Education told the university its accreditation was in jeopardy email I got said in no uncertain terms you have to consent to this or you will not receive your pay.” because of the findings of an independent Background checks for new hires are investigation into the scandal. Background checks increasingly common in recent years; Sadly, as was made clear during Sanchecks on existing employees perhaps less dusky’s trial, this all could have been prefor new hires are so. It is an expensive undertaking, but the vented years ago. Hence, the new backincreasingly common cost must be weighed against the negaground checks. tives. Penn State has every right to try to An article in The Centre Daily Times, in recent years. protect itself against future scandals. Penn State’s “hometown newspaper,” says Employees also have a right, however, the background check policy will include reports on criminal history and child abuse. Checks could also to be suspect of checks that seem to go beyond the scope of include motor vehicle records for those who drive a university the position for which they are hired, and there may be a few vehicle or transport children and credit history for employees test cases in coming years where the rules are enhanced. After all, as the saying goes, “with great power comes great who work in jobs with financial authority. According to the policy, the university also has the power responsibility.” It’s a shame that the athletic department and former top to conduct background checks on current employees when it officials didn’t live by that dictum as well. has “reasonable grounds” to do so. But some employees cast a wary eye on the scope of the new policy. “What really bothered me about those forms is they’re used to cover all bases for all different kinds of checks they perform,” said one man quoted in the story, who is pur- Write to Tim Goral at 2013 2013 Vanishing Boundaries... June 10-12 Orlando 2013 6 | September 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - September 2012

University Business - September 2012
Editor’s Note
College Index
Ad Index
Behind the News
Independent Outlook
Financial Aid
Virtual Viewbooks: Ready? Or Not?
Technology Changes Everything
Connecting Learners, On Campus and Off
The Changing Face of the CIO
Efficiency Greats
The Administrator's Bookshelf
Oceans of Data
Education Innovators
Internet Technology
End Note

University Business - September 2012