Developing New Policies to Protect Minors

Posted on 11/12/2014 9:32:15 AM

Dear Campus Community:

IUP continues to be committed to ensuring the safest possible environment for our employees, students, and visitors, including minors at our university.

The State System Board of Governors recently introduced a new policy designed to protect minors on our campuses.

An IUP committee has completed a draft policy for the protection of minors that complies with the Board of Governors policy. This month, the draft policy will be reviewed by representatives of university constituencies, including represented employees and appropriate University Senate committees. The University Senate will take up the policy at its December 2 meeting. Board of Governors policy requires that IUP have a policy in place by December 31, 2014.

In addition, Pennsylvania recently enacted legislation that requires us to examine and modify our background investigation policy. The new law related to background investigations is expansive and includes, for example, the requirement of background investigations for our student employees in many circumstances.

Under IUP’s current policy, background investigations for new employees are required. Under the new law and Board of Governors policy, some current employees may also be required to complete background investigations before taking part in programs in which minors participate.  

There is no question that IUP must, and will, comply with state laws and Board of Governors policies and that we will maintain our commitment to a safe and secure campus for all.

To say that it will be challenging to develop and implement this policy is an understatement. It will affect the entire university community. But, we will do it—and we will do it as a community. I firmly believe that continuing our commitment to shared governance will yield the best possible results: a policy and procedure that are easily understood, compliant with applicable laws and policies, and implemented effectively.

To that end, I have asked Cornelius Wooten, vice president for Administration and Finance, to appoint a working group to address this initiative. The working group will include representation from all of our university constituencies, including our represented employees. This group will be charged with developing a draft background investigation policy, which I expect will come to the University Senate for consideration in February or March.

Thank you all for your continued good work on this issue.

Sincerely,  

Michael A. Driscoll
President