- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - An expanded background-checks policy has led the University of Illinois to withdraw 11 job offers across its three campuses over the past year.

The university board approved the expanded policy November 2015, The News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2jfldo8 ) reported. From then until October 2016, the university has conducted nearly 12,000 background checks.

The university had about 80,000 job applicants in that period. Background checks aren’t conducted for every applicant, only after a job offer has been made and accepted.

Trustee Patrick Fitzgerald said among the cases of applicants turned down were candidates who would have had contact with children in their jobs and had been convicted on child endangerment or weapons charges.

“We’re talking about nontrivial issues,” Fitzgerald said.

Nine of the applicants turned down were in Chicago, while the other two were at the Urbana campus. University officials said only one of those was for a potential faculty member, and the rest were civil service or other positions.

The total cost of the background checks is about $456,500, with the average ranging from $25 for employees at the university system level to $41 at Urbana.

Some positions require a more extensive check, said Jami Painter, assistant vice president for human relations. The university’s vendor, The General Information Services, based in South Carolina, goes back seven years. But checking out a candidate who has moved in that period, or resides outside Illinois, will cost more, Painter said.

Trustee Jill Smart said taxpayers might see the price tag as too high for a system that caught only a few cases, but she said that missing just one would be even more costly.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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