Background Checks at University of Iowa and Conceal Carry Weapons Law at Texas Universities Denote Significant Change for Students, States

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Recently, two seemingly unrelated events occurred that will impact University students in Iowa and Texas and, potentially, across the country, states Adam Almeida, President and CEO of, states: "Schools and Universities across the country have the responsibility in mitigating risk and two states have taken unique approaches to fulfilling this mandate.”

Criminal Background Records

Criminal Background Records

A best practice for schools would be to work with third-party employment screening companies in fulfillment of thorough background checks.

Going off to college is the highlight of any young person's life. While on campus there is a great expectation of security. Two seemingly unrelated events appear to strive for the same goal.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of states: "Risk mitigation is an important task and goal of any University. Conducting background checks is one way to mitigate risk, such as the schools in Iowa are doing, and allowing concealed weapons is Texas' version of risk mitigation. Both states have the same intent to mitigate risk but unique approaches."

In Iowa, state Universities have mandated that all student applicants must disclose any convictions or school-based discipline.

From The Gazette (Jun 01, 15):

"Starting next month, for the first time, all student applicants to the University of Iowa will have to disclose whether they’ve ever been convicted of a crime or subject to prior scholastic discipline." (1)

The change in Iowa is designed to unify admission policies across all campuses specific to past indiscretions.

In commenting on this recent event, Adam Almeida, President and CEO of states: "Screening students is an important part of any risk mitigation policy for colleges and Universities. Iowa's implementation of criminal background checks uniformly signifies an important shift other states may follow."

From The Gazette (Jun 01, 15):

"Some criminal charges or past behavior that might trigger more inspection include serious assault, sexual assault, or distribution of drugs...Those applicants receive an email alerting them that before ISU processes their application, they must undergo a background check with a third-party vendor." (2)

Almeida adds: "A best practice for schools would be to work with third-party employment screening companies in fulfillment of thorough background checks."

Under the guise of safety and risk mitigation, the Texas legislation recently ruled to allow conceal carry weapons on all Texas post-secondary campuses.

From the Los Angeles Times (Jun. 04, 15):

Critics charged that concealed weapons pose a number of safety concerns for universities, where mass shootings over the last decade have prompted institutions to install alert systems to warn students and staff members of danger. Proponents of the legislation say licensed gun holders will make campuses safer. (3)

Campuses across the country are tasked with protecting their students, whether it is the Texas brand of security or Iowa's. Campus HR departments are tasked with creating and fulfilling a background screening policy that is specific to the needs of a particular campus. This is similar to companies and other organizations that already created an employment screening or pre-employment screening policy in compliance with the FCRA and other local and State laws governing the use of public records and/or consumer reports in the background screening process.

From (Mar. 12):

Working with school administrators, HR departments should take the lead on developing a comprehensive written policy and a stringent set of procedures specific to their college or university instead of cutting and pasting from another school’s policy. (4)

Almeida states: "In the end it is important to have a safe and secure campus. If anything the legislative change in Texas highlights the urgent need in creating a secure campus. And the changes in Iowa highlight the willingness to work with a third-party background screening company, which is always a best practice." is a third party background screening company with a highly trained staff ready to assist companies and organizations with expanded requirements as mandated by law. Further, can assist in the review and formulation of fully compliant background screening programs.


(2)    ibid

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