Friday, November 10, 2006

Background checks coming to UWO?

I was browsing Frank Church's email this morning and I noticed that the UW Madison faculty senate had voted against a new policy ordering background checks of employees. As the article notes, the regents are hell-bent on checking every new employee, after the "scandal" of last spring when 40 ex-cons were found on the payroll.

Outside of the due-process issues raised by the UW fac. senate (which makes sense to me), it strikes me as a hugely wasteful initiative. At this time of very scarce resources, the money and personnel needed to check the thousands of UW employees is not money well spent.

After the "audit" last spring, they turned up NOT ONE PERSON who was a problem or who would fit this vaguely defined criteria of this proposal. Thus, system administrators are creating more paperwork and cost to solve a problem that does not exist.

Bureaucracy has a momentum all its own. After the orders came down, this steamroller was set in motion and will soon suck up more of our valuable assets.

Perhaps now that the political situation has changed slightly in Madison, some more sensible minds can rethink this unnecessary policy.

1 comment:

lammers said...

When asked at a job interview if you have ever been convicted of a felony, do NOT answer, "'Convicted'? No, never CONVICTED ..."

Seriously, the cost-benefit ratio on a thing like this DOES seem awfully skewed: an awful lot of effort and expense for little or no demonstrable benefit. And in any event, if I understand it correctly, most things such a check would turn up would not be grounds for declining to hire under Wisconsin law anyway.