Phi Beta Cons

Professorial Criminality

The state of Missouri wants to run background checks on college professors at its state university campuses, as it already does on its other employees – janitors, cafeteria workers et al.  
The American Association of University Professors opposes such a policy on “moral” grounds, but one UM professor says the university has “a duty to protect our students.” He notes, for example, that a professor with prior convictions for sexual misconduct might not be suitable to be hired. 
The Associated Press story on this debate cites serious incidents of professorial criminality at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania and Penn State University. 
For the safety of all campus denizens – including academics themselves – the professoriate ought to be vetted like other employees, and such a policy should be adopted in all states.

Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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