Pursuant to University of Colorado Boulder's Policy Regarding Applicant Criminal History and Pre-Admission Crimes ("Policy"), the Director of Admissions has charged the Admissions Crime Review Committee ("ACRC") to review and make decisions regarding the following:
- Whether applicants for student admission who provide affirmative responses to the application's criminal history question shall be eligible to enroll.
- Whether students, who after enrollment (or confirmed intent to enroll), are charged with a serious crime and a prosecuting jurisdiction has made final disposition of such charges, shall be eligible to continue to enroll or admitted status shall be revoked.
This document establishes the ACRC's operating procedures and processes in response to its delegation of authority in the Policy.
- ACRC Composition: The ACRC is a standing committee chaired by the Director of Admissions, or designee, comprised of cross-campus representatives from the Office of Admissions, Division of Continuing Education, Graduate School, Office of Student Conduct, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Safety (AVCS), Veteran Services, Parent Relations, and Department of Housing and Dining Services. Representatives from the Office of University Counsel and Risk Management are available as consultants.
- Application Question: The ACRC is responsible for drafting and updating, if needed, a criminal history question to be included on the application for undergraduate or graduate degree admission, the MBA application and the "Convictions" question on the University's application for non-degree admission to the Division of Continuing Education ("Question") .
- Affirmative Responses: If an applicant responds "yes" to the Question, the following steps will be taken:
- Academic Admissibility: the application will first be reviewed for and admission decision to determine if the applicant is academically eligible for admission. If academically eligible, the application will then go through the criminal history review.
- Supplemental Form: If not already included in the application, the respective office in which applicant is applying for admission will send the applicant or student notification that he or she is required to provide an explanation regarding the incident in question (in addition to any other information the applicant would like considered such as the agency of record documents, including arrest reports and related court documents) and consent to a background check. The form, titled Criminal History Supplement Form, will be used for this purpose (“Supplemental Form”). In many cases, the Supplemental Form is included in the application for admission. For applicants applying using the Common Application, the Supplemental Form will be sent to the applicant from the respective office they are applying to for admission.
- Investigation and Decision:
- Preliminary Review: A representative from the respective admissions unit (Office of Admissions, Graduate School, or Division of Continuing Education) will initially review the applicant's completed Supplemental Form. If the respective unit determines that the crime(s)/offense(s) is of a nature that does not pose a potential risk to the university community, the unit may clear the application to proceed in the admission process ("Eligible to Enroll") and the appropriate admission decision will be posted. Convictions involving, but not limited to, violence, sexual conduct, or weapons will not be cleared and must proceed to the next step in the investigation.
- Background check, agency of record documents and criminal history review: If the unit representative believes that the nature of the crime(s) or offense(s) warrant a further review, then the unit representative will contact the AVCS and provide the Supplemental Form and any associated agency record documents already received to the AVCS. The AVCS, or designee, will conduct a background check into the applicant’s relevant history. The background check will include, in most instances, database CBI Record review and a Background Information Services Inc. (BISI) review and an arresting agency record request (if that record was not previously received with the supplemental form).
If during the background check and criminal history review, the AVCS finds information about crimes against persons (including sex offenses), multiple offenses or significant property crimes, the AVCS may communicate with investigating officers, probation officers and prosecutors related to those investigations. In addition, an interview with the applicant may be conducted and, in some instances, in the sole discretion of the AVCS, witnesses and/or victims may be contacted.
The background check file will be archived with the rest of the student record according to the University of Colorado document retention policy (APS 2008).
ACRC Review and Determination: The AVCS will provide a summary of the background check to the ACRC. The ACRC will consider the criminal history review, the nature, severity and timing of the underlying conduct, and any information that the applicant provided. If ACRC finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant's conduct poses an unreasonable risk to the safety or security of others in the campus community, the applicant will not be Eligible to Enroll. If the ACRC decides the applicant is Eligible to Enroll, the ACRC may condition continued eligibility upon the applicant's compliance with criteria specified by the ACRC, including, but not limited to drug and alcohol evaluation or clinical support or not being eligible for on-campus housing.
- Not Eligible: If the ACRC determines that the applicant is not Eligible to Enroll, the Background Investigator will send written notification to the applicant and the application will be withdrawn from consideration.
- Eligible: If the ACRC determines that the applicant is Eligible to Enroll the respective unit office will update the applicant's admission application with the appropriate admission decision and the AVCS will send written notification to the applicant.
- Eligible with Specific Conditions: If the ACRC determines that the applicant is Eligible to Enroll with conditions, the committee will send written notification to the applicant and the respective unit office will update the admission application with the appropriate admission decision.
- Registered Sex Offenders: If the ACRC determines a registered sex offender is Eligible to Enroll, the ACRC shall determine whether the applicant is eligible to reside in university housing. Such decision will be communicated to the admittee in the letter notifying the admittee of his/her Eligibility to Enroll. If an admitted sex offender is allowed to reside on campus, he/she must comply with any and all registration requirements per state law, in addition to registering with the University of Colorado Police Department (CUPD).
Appeals: The affected applicant may appeal an ACRC decision when new information is available that was not included or available in the initial review of the applicant's file and can be provided as part of the appeal. To request an appeal, the applicant must submit a written letter to the ACRC within 30 days of the original decision, stating the grounds for the appeal, and a request to be re-considered. This letter must be addressed to the Admissions Crime Review Committee, c/o AVCS, University of Colorado Office of Admissions, Regent Administrative Center, Boulder, Colorado 80309. The applicant will be notified in writing by the AVCS of the results of the appeal.
Should the applicant's appeal be denied, the applicant may request in writing that the appeal be submitted for a review to the Dean of Students. In this event, the ACRC will inform the Dean and provide the Dean with the applicant's file, including information relevant to ACRC's decision and the applicant's appeal. In cases involving sexual misconduct or other Title IX allegations, the Dean of Students may consult with the Director of Institutional Equity and Compliance when reviewing the appeal. Either the Dean of Students or the ACRC will notify the applicant in writing of the result of the Dean of Students’ review.
- Already Enrolled Students: Pursuant to Section IV (3) of the Policy, the procedures detailed immediately above in a-e shall also apply to already admitted and enrolled (or confirmed intent to enroll) students who are subsequently charged with a serious crime (1) and the prosecuting jurisdiction has made final disposition (2) of such charges before the student attends classes. In such cases, ACRC shall decide whether the student is eligible to continue to enroll, whether the student's prior admission will be revoked, or whether the student will be eligible to enroll based upon condition continued eligibility. The ACRC's decision will be communicated in writing to the student or may be subsequently amended, whichever is applicable.
- Conditions applicable to all Applicants Eligible to Enroll: The following conditions apply to all applicants who the ACRC determines are Eligible to Enroll:
- The applicant must not be charged with any further crimes pursued by a prosecuting jurisdiction.
- The applicant must complete all court ordered requirements.
- The applicant must meet with an Assistant Director in the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, no later than one week prior to the academic semester, to discuss and comply with any additional conditions.
If an applicant fails to comply with these or any other admission conditions prior to enrollment, the ACRC may revoke its prior determination and make the applicant not Eligible to Enroll. If the applicant fails to comply with admission conditions after enrollment, it is a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct and the case will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.
(1) The Policy defines serious crime as "any crime that is of a violent or serious nature and poses a potential threat to the safety of the campus community, specifically including, but not limited to, drug trafficking, sex offenses, manslaughter, and homicide."
(2) The Policy defines final disposition as "charges dropped, not guilty verdict, conviction, guilty plea, or no contest plea.
(3) The Policy excludes participants in the “Inside Out Prison Exchange Program” offered through the Division of Continuing Education beginning Spring 2017.
(Updated October 2017)