The arrest of a Yale lab technician in the murder case of Yale graduate student Annie Le has provoked questions about the university's background screening policies.
According to UWire, Yale University seems to have done its due diligence in hiring 24-year-old Raymond Clark III, who was arrested this morning for murdering Le, also 24, and stuffing her body inside a basement wall at the research building where they both worked .
The screenings include, among other things, social security number verification, a criminal history check, and employment verification from three previous employers. Yale contracts ADP, which describes itself as “one of the world's largest providers of business outsourcing solutions,” to do the screenings.
Mandy King, who has worked as a medical assistant at Yale’s School of Medicine for two years, said she had to complete a thorough background check before she was hired.
“After all of my interviews, and approval for hire, it was almost a full week before the extensive background check came back,” King said. “I will say that the security is tight in the research labs, [and] that is one of the things that has upset us the most in the Yale Community.”
Yale University, located in the city of New Haven, Connecticut, is the county's biggest employer. According to the university's human resources "pre-employment screening program" Web page, the program was expanded in June 2007. The goal of the program, the Web page says, is "to ensure that we continue to hire the right people, for the right jobs, at the right time."
Richard Levin, the university's president, said there was nothing in Clark's employment history that indicated a potently for such violence. "This incident could have happened in any city, in any university, or in any workplace. It says more about the dark side of the human soul than it does about the extent of security measures," Levin said in a statement to the Yale community.
New Haven Police Chief James Lewis said today that Le's murder should be viewed as workplace violence, reports the Associated Press. "It is important to note that this is not about urban crime, university crime, domestic crime but an issue of workplace violence, which is becoming a growing concern around the country," the police chief said.
Photo of Yale University's Harkness Tower by sterte/Flickr