Open Wide and You’re Hired

This is really, really weird:

Many colleges now require criminal background checks of all new employees. But the University of Akron — in what some experts believe is a first — is not only requiring a criminal background check, but is stating that new employees must be willing to submit a DNA sample.

The requirement was added quietly and is now receiving attention — and criticism — because an adjunct faculty member at Akron quit this week, citing the new rules. “It’s not enough that the university doesn’t pay us a living wage, or provide us with health insurance, but now they want to sacrifice the sanctity of our bodies. No,” said Matt Williams, who had been teaching four courses this semester in the communications and continuing education programs.

Not sure a phrase like “sacrifice the sanctity of our bodies” is warranted here, but yes, this is insane. Akron’s administration, for its part, says it has no plans to actually swab any new faculty members, but merely wants to reserve the right to do so in the future.

One has to wonder how and why this rule was snuck in.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.