Institutional Reference Checks Guide

What is the Institutional Reference Check process?

In March 2024, the University of Michigan launched a two-year pilot program of institutional reference checks for candidates selected for Associate Professor and Professor, with tenure, positions. These steps help to ensure that the University of Michigan can make an informed hiring decision while adhering to privacy and legal guidelines. An abbreviated version of the process includes:

  • Collect institutional reference information and consent to contact the previous employer from the candidate.
  • Contact the provided references by email asking for information on substantiated findings of misconduct.
  • Assess the feedback from the institutional references and provide guidance as needed to the hiring unit.
  • Document all reference check communications and findings.
  • Use the information gathered to support a final hiring decision.
  • Maintain confidentiality throughout the process.
  • Inform candidates about the outcome of their application.

View the Institutional Reference Check Process Timeline.

Institutional Reference Check Job Posting and Language

“Employment will require both a criminal background check and an institutional reference check regarding any misconduct. Candidates will be required to submit a self-disclosure form as well as an authorization to release information form.”

Institutional Reference Check Contingent Offer Letter Language

Immigration Status

This offer is contingent on meeting all employment authorization requirements and applicable immigration regulations. In addition, your continued employment with the University is contingent on your maintaining valid employment authorization and your ongoing compliance with the applicable immigration regulations. At the request of the academic unit, as stated in SPG 201.18, the University’s International Center is committed to working with the academic unit and candidate hire to provide consultation and guidance on immigration and employment authorization issues.

Institutional Reference Check

Employment at the University of Michigan will require an institutional reference check regarding any misconduct. To be considered, applicants must sign an Authorization to Release Information form and a Self-Disclosure form. The forms must be submitted to the [email protected] within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of this letter. The University of Michigan will contact the candidate’s current and past employers to ask about: (1) substantiated findings of sexual and gender-based misconduct, Title IX misconduct, or academic misconduct and any associated discipline related to teaching, research, and service; and (2) the existence of any active or ongoing investigations regarding sexual and gender-based misconduct, Title IX misconduct, or academic misconduct.

Criminal Background Check

This offer is contingent on the successful completion of a background screening. Our vendor will be contacting you directly via email for additional information needed to complete this process. It is critical that you complete this information as soon as possible to expedite your hire process

Institutional Reference Check Forms