(Updated August 2012)
In order for University administration to provide for a safe and secure environment for persons in the University Community, an effort is made at the point of application to the University, to identify and screen applicants who might pose a potential threat to persons or property at the institution.
The screening body is the Criminal Review Committee (also referred to as Student Felony Admit Review Committee (SFARC), composed of six members, serving for the duration of their tenure in position. They are designated:
The mechanism to begin this identification is the Criminal History Question on the University of Colorado's application for undergraduate or graduate degree admission, and the "Convictions" question on the University's application for non-degree admission to the Division of Continuing Education.
The Criminal History Question on the Student Application for Undergraduate or Graduate degree Admission and on the Application for non-degree admission to the Division of Continuing Education reads as follows:
"Do you have a pending criminal charge OR have you ever been convicted of a crime, made a plea of guilty, accepted a deferred judgment, been adjudicated, or been required to register as a sex offender? (Misdemeanor traffic offenses are exempt.)"
Upon answering, "yes" to the Criminal History question, a Criminal Supplement Form (Appendix A) will be sent to the student from the respective office they are applying to for admission.
An initial review of the supplement form is completed by the Associate Director of Admission for applications to degree programs at the University of Colorado. The Records Manager for Continuing Education will initially review all applicants who answer yes to the criminal history question for the Non-degree programs. If the Associate Director of Admissions or the Record Manager for Continuing Education believes that the nature of the crime(s) or offenses warrant a further review then they will forward the information to the Community Services Supervisor at the University of Colorado Police Department. If the Associate Director of Admission or the Records Manager for Continuing Education feel the crime/offense is of a nature that does not pose a potential risk to the university community they may clear the applicant based on their initial review of the offenses.
If a further review is warranted then the Associate Director of Admissions or the Records Manager for Continuing Education notifies the Community Services Supervisor at the University of Colorado Police Department of the applicant's name, date of birth, and address on the Criminal History Supplement. They will also fax or send a copy of the Criminal History Supplement to the Community Services Supervisor.
Upon receipt of the information from either of these entities, the Community Services Supervisor, or his designee (a commissioned officer of the University of Colorado Police Department), will commence a background investigation into the applicant's relevant history. This investigation will begin with the assignment of a tracking number from the computerized Background Log. The investigation will include, in most instances, a criminal history of the subject, a driving history, and a check of the Colorado Courts database. If a significant criminal history is discovered, and the crimes appear to include any felony, crimes against persons (including sex offenses), multiple offenses, or significant property crimes, an effort will be made to obtain a copy of the crime report, and to speak to investigating officers, probation officers, and prosecutors related to those investigations. An interview will be conducted with the applicant, and, in some instances, witnesses and/or victims. The object of this investigation will be to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the criminal proceedings. The background investigation file is archived at the UCPD, along with other background investigations.
Upon completion of the background investigation, a summary of the investigation will be provided to the Criminal Review Committee and a vote taken on the applicant's eligibility to continue in the application process. Information considered by the Committee is not limited to the specific criminal allegations identified in the application, but can include all information discovered in the background investigation that would reasonably indicate the applicant’s potential as a risk to the safety, or security of others in the University environment.
In most cases, the background investigation and the Committee review of the applicant will take no more than two weeks once all information regarding the student's background is compiled. If the process is to take longer than two weeks, the Community Services Supervisor will confer with the Associate Director of Admissions, or the Records Manager for Continuing Education, as to an extension of that time, and whether to submit the applicant to a vote with the information so far developed.
The original Criminal History Supplement and explanation will be filed separate from the student's application for confidentiality. These files will be kept with the Associate Director of Admissions and the Records Manager for Continuing Education, respectively.
The Criminal History Review committee will review applicants as their background information is provided. The committee will vote on each applicant with the majority of the votes determining the decision of the committee. A minimum of three voting members of the committee must be present in order for a decision to be rendered.
In the event of a majority "No" vote, the applicant will be sent a letter informing him of his ineligibility to continue in the application process, either to the Division of Continuing Education, or to the Office of Admissions for the University at large (Appendix C). This letter is sent by the Community Services Supervisor, UCPD, and a copy of this letter is sent to either Admissions or Continuing Education for the applicant's file. A copy of the letter is also retained in the background investigation file for the applicant.
In the event of a majority "Yes" vote, the applicant will be sent a letter informing him of his eligibility to continue in the application process, and instructing him to contact either Continuing Education or Admissions should they have any questions regarding the admission process (Appendix B). Copies of this letter will be sent to Continuing Education or Admissions with one copy to be placed with the student's file and the other copy to be retained in their confidential criminal history information. In addition, a copy will be retained in the background investigation file.
In addition, should the committee admit a registered sex offender to the University, a determination of the student's housing will also be made by the committee. The letter notifying the student of his/her admission will also stipulate whether he/she will be or will not be allowed to reside in University owned or operated housing facilities. If a student who registers as a sex offender is allowed to reside on campus he/she will comply with registration requirements per State law and register with the University of Colorado Boulder Police Department.
The decisions reached by the Committee will apply only to the University of Colorado, Boulder campus, and programs therein.
Appeals to the decision made by the Criminal History Committee are considered when new information is available that was not included in the initial review of the student's file and can be provided as part of the appeal. The Applicant may appeal the decision by first submitting a written letter to the Committee, stating the reasons for the appeal, and a request to be re-considered. This letter is to be addressed to the Admissions Review Committee, c/o Community Services Supervisor, University of Colorado Police Department, 1050 Regent Drive, Boulder, Colorado 80309. The applicant will be notified in writing by the Community Services Supervisor, for the Committee, of the results of the appeal.
Should the applicant's appeal be denied by the Committee, the applicant may ask that his appeal be submitted for a review by the Dean of Students. In this event, either the Associate Director of Admissions, or the Community Services Supervisor, will inform the Dean, and provide the Dean with the applicant's file, including information relevant to the Committee's decision and the applicant's appeal. Either the Dean of Students, or the Community Services Supervisor, will notify the applicant in writing of the result of this appeal.
This appeal process shall apply to the applicants to Continuing Education as well.
In general, it is held that there is no inherent right to appeal the decision of the Committee, in that the application is considered prior to the acceptance of the applicant as a student. (e.g. Applications that are otherwise found deficient are likewise not considered for processing.)
In the event of the applicant retaining legal counsel to appeal or mediate in the review process, the applicant's counsel will be referred to the Criminal History Review Committees liaison (currently, Michelle Krech, email@example.com) within the Office of the University Legal Counsel, who will exclusively deal with the applicant's lawyer. Individual members of the Committee should have no contact with applicant's legal counsel.
The review process is concerned with persons presenting a risk to the University community. Some obvious examples would be crimes of violence (i.e., robbery, homicide, assaults, domestic violence, weapons crimes, child abuse) and crimes presenting a threat to persons (i.e., sex assault, child pornography, harassment, stalking) as opposed to property. The review also looks at high profile crimes that do not fit into those categories, but which could present a threat to community life (felonious thefts, embezzlements, criminal mischief, frauds, and forgeries, for example).
All felony drug crimes (which would be all the "hard" drugs and felony marijuana violations), and multiple drug offenses would initiate a review. MIP's (minor in possession) or misdemeanor/petty offense alcohol crimes would not be reviewed, except for Providing Alcohol to Minors, multiple alcohol offenses or in conjunction with other crimes.
The time elapsed since the criminal incident will be a factor in the Committee's consideration, as will subsequent criminal history, compliance to court orders, and treatment and completion of periods of probation, parole, deferred judgments, or deferred sentences.
The Committee will generally review all persons who indicate that they are currently on Parole (supervision after incarceration), or who are, or were, registered sex offenders. Probationary status will not necessarily require a review, depending on the original offense. Should the committee admit a registered sex offender to the University, a determination of the student's housing will also be made by the committee. The letter notifying the student of his/her admission will also stipulate whether he/she will be or will not be allowed to reside in University owned or operated housing facilities. If a student who registers as a sex offender is allowed to reside on campus he/she will comply with registration requirements per State law and register with the University of Colorado at Boulder Police Department.
No. Sealed criminal records may not be considered, but statements made about such records, including contents of those records, by the applicant may be considered in the review process. Applicants need not answer yes to the "Convictions" question if the criminal matter has been sealed by the court.
Yes. Except for records sealed by the court, all other adjudications, including those deferred, are to be considered.
Although each review will be decided on its merits, there are some criteria which would likely result in disqualification. For example: