Pre-Employment Background Checks

This policy establishes the criteria and procedures whereby Delta State University will perform background checks on applicants prior to an offer of employment. Background checks will help to increase safety, manage risk, meet mandated regulatory compliance, and contribute to informed and safe hiring decisions.  Additionally, applicants who indicate on their applications that they have a prior felony conviction or pending felony charge will be subject to more extensive background checks if the applicant is selected for interview and recommended for hire.

This policy applies to all candidate finalists selected for new hire in regular full-time, regular part-time, time-limited, temporary, and intermittent positions who are scheduled to assume their new duties on or after the policy effective date. This policy excludes current University employees who are moving to a new position within the university. The University, at its discretion, may refuse to hire anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, anyone who has pending felony charge/s, or refuse to hire anyone for educational or driver’s license issues.

Background checks on student workers, graduate assistants, post-doctoral, and rehired retirees will be limited to those working in the following positions:

  • Positions handling cash and checks on a regular basis
  • Positions having contact with minors
  • Positions with access to residence hall rooms
  • Positions having access to other student or employee information
  • Positions having patient contact or access to prescription medications
  • Other positions as requested by departments  

 Delta State University reserves the right to add positions to this list at any time prior to the beginning of recruitment efforts.

Although a disqualification is possible, a previous conviction does not automatically disqualify an applicant from consideration for employment with the university. Depending on the factors, the applicant may still be eligible for employment with the University. In determining suitability for employment where there is a record of criminal conviction/s and/or pending criminal activity, consideration shall be given to such issues as the specific duties of the position, the number of offenses and circumstances of each, how long ago the conviction occurred, whether the circumstances arose out of an employment situation, and the accuracy of the explanation of the nature and circumstances of the conviction as stated by the applicant on the employment application.

However, if an applicant fails to reveal any previous conviction, he/she may be disqualified from employment in that or any other position at the University for providing false information on an application.

An employment offer may be extended to an applicant prior to the completion of the background check. All offers of employment and continuing employment are contingent upon an acceptable background check and any written offer of employment must contain notice of this contingency.

Human Resources staff will coordinate the background check with an approved third-party vendor qualified to perform such work and will be responsible for the costs associated with conducting background checks.


When a hiring department reaches the final selection stage in the hiring process, the department provides the selected candidate with an “Authorization and Release” form. The hiring department then sends the completed authorization form to Human Resources. Human Resources works with the third-party vendor to conduct the background check.

When the investigation is complete, the vendor will return the information to Human Resources. In the event that a criminal conviction record is discovered, a report will be sent to Human Resources for further review. Convictions not shown on the application but discovered during the investigation may render the applicant ineligible from employment.  If there is a conviction, the hiring decision will be made in conference with the Human Resources Director and the Chair/Director of the hiring department and in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office of the Institutions of Higher Learning.

The vendor will conduct an investigation where needed to determine suitability for employment at the university. Depending upon the job description requirements of the position to be filled, the background check may also involve an educational background search and/or motor vehicle driving record search.  Background checks will also be made for certain other information as listed on the authorization form.

  • The Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996

    Section 601 – §1681b. – Permissible Purposes of Reports