Background Checks

In order to create a safe and secure workplace and to ensure that NMSU employees are qualified to perform the duties and responsibilities of the positions they hold, the university shall conduct background checks in accordance with policy (ARP 6.20 - Employment Background Reviews).


Forms and Process Flow:

Background Check Criteria

The following employees will be subject to a background review:

  • All regular employees who are hired, transferred, promoted, reclassified, or appointed to interim positions. Rank promotions of tenured, tenure track and non- tenure track faculty are not subject to a background review upon promotion.
  • University employees competing for vacancies through an external search process.
  • University employees changing positions from faculty to academic administrative or to administrative status.
  • Graduate assistants, teaching assistants, post doctoral appointments, temporary employees, student employees, volunteers (with the exception of 4-H volunteers) and affiliates with significant responsibilities listed in the NMSU Sensitive Duties Checklist. A background review will be conducted at the initial time of hire. Employees holding positions in any of these categories will not be subjected to another background review unless there is a break in employment of one year or more.
Depending on the position, background reviews may include:

  • Credential verification (academic degrees certification, professional licenses, etc.)
  • Criminal history and identity (Federal, State and Local)
  • Employment references
  • Consumer credit reports
  • Drug testing
  • Social Security Number traces
  • Motor vehicle driving history

*Positions requiring a Background Review will indicate this on the job posting.*

Additional Information

Background Checks for Summer Youth Programs

NMSU Sponsored Youth Programs was adopted effective 3/1/19. See direct link for the complete ARP. Part of ARP 16.79; Part 7: Criminal Background Checks is related to criminal background checks. A criminal background check must be performed, and each individual Program Staff cleared, prior to any direct involvement with the Program Participants. Please use the Background Check Release Form and Sensitive Duties Checklist We ask that the forms be submitted in one packet per youth program. Submit a signed background check form and sensitive duties checklist for EVERY staff member who will be working with minors. If the individual has a background check on file within the past 5 years and no other indication of criminal history, a new check will not be conducted. Otherwise, HRS will conduct the check and charge the requesting department using the index number which MUST be included on the form. HRS will issue individual background check clearance notifications to the contact person listed on the form once the background checks are complete.

Payment for Background Checks

Hiring departments absorb the cost of background checks conducted to fill positions they post. HR Services uses the index number provided by the department on the Background Check Release Form to charge the testing expense back to the department.


Record Retention of Background Check Documents

HR Services will confidentially retain all employment background review information. Information collected on successful applicants will be stored with the candidate's application materials and kept on file for in compliance with records retention requirements. For more information regarding records retention visit

Adverse Information Discovery and Notice

Should any resulting information be considered a cause for an adverse employment action, HR Services will confer with the hiring department and applicable dean/vice president and general counsel. All parties will evaluate the value of the information against the total past employment record and future employment potential. If the information is deemed relevant, the HR Services office will submit a Pre-Adverse Action Notice to the applicant including the individual's background report findings and a copy of his/her "A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act" per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The Pre-Adverse Action Notice provides the candidate with an opportunity to challenge information within the report. The applicant has 5 days to respond. If a response is not received within the time allotted or the appeal by the applicant is overturned by NMSU, a final Adverse Action Notice will be submitted to the applicant.


Additional employment reviews may be required by law, regulation, or contract.