Akron Professor Resigns Over New Policy Requiring DNA Samples From All Employees

University_of_Akron_logoDNA_orbit_animated_static_thumbThe University of Akron has taken the radical step of demanding that all faculty and employees submit a DNA sample — causing one adjunct professor Matt Williams (who teaches four communications and continuing education courses) to resign. Williams notes “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.” He’s right.

One of the most striking aspects of this policy is how entirely unnecessary it is. The rule was adopted by the Board of Trustees in August without much debate — or apparent reason.

Laura Martinez Massie, Akron spokeswoman insists that the university wants “a safe environment for all of its students and employees” and that “DNA testing was included in the policy because there have been national discussions that indicate that in the future, reliance on fingerprinting will diminish and DNA for criminal identification will be the more prominent technology.” Ok, I am a bit lost here. Police have the ability to collect DNA evidence when there is a credible basis as part of a criminal investigation. What does this have to do with the University of Akron?

The university stated in its Akron policy:

The University of Akron is committed to providing a safe environment by protecting the health, welfare and safety of all students, employees and visitors to our campus. As such, the University conducts pre-employment background checks for all applicants selected for employment. This policy shall apply, without limitation, to all individuals selected during the hiring process for full and part-time faculty, contract professional and staff positions. It is a condition of employment that all such individuals submit to the criminal background check procedures.

For the full policy, click here

Yet, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 specifically states:

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any employee, or otherwise to discriminate against any employee with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of the employee, because of genetic information with respect to the employee.

This is a remarkably dim-witted idea by the Akron administration and is rightfully being opposed by faculty. Schools can do background checks on new faculty without demanding their DNA profiles be made part of the school’s records. It also increases the chances that such information can be demanded through civil litigation or other means. What is amazing is how little thought appears to have gone into this extreme measure despite its dangers to privacy and individual rights. Akron seems to want to be on the forefront of eroding privacy rights, which are already threatened by these private databanks and searches. It is a remarkably ignoble and frankly ignorant approach for a university — particularly without serious debate among the faculty and Akron community. It would seem that the school needs a new Administration more urgently than a new DNA database.

Notably, Williams is a vice president of the New Faculty Majority, a national organization created this year to advance adjunct interests — a valuable mission given the poor treatment of such faculty by many schools.

For the full story, click here.

16 thoughts on “Akron Professor Resigns Over New Policy Requiring DNA Samples From All Employees”

  1. Yes naomiah, there are exceptions to the rights enumerated in the 4th Amendment. It is called officer discretion and following the rules, both LEO’s and Civilians.

    However, “MOST” LEO’s are corrupt and dishonest or at least the ones I have dealt with in the criminal element. It was hard to see who the criminal is or was. The have had in the past the Code of Silence, they know when one of the crackers is bad but they don’t do anything about them. They are even worst than the actual bad LEO’s but most are too chicken **** to say anything. Therefore I do not trust MOST LEO’s.

  2. naomiah,

    One person mentioned seat belts/vehicles; “people” did not, so do not generalize from one to the whole.

  3. where does this crap come from? who is thinking this is a good idea? it is similar to requiring all guns to have a ballistic signature on file. Or to have a social security card or a drivers license. or a dog tag, when is government going to stay out of my business?

  4. I didn’t realize that driving was a right protected by the Constitution. Thanks so much for filling me in. Now I know it is my Constitutionally protected right to not only have a driver’s license, but to disregard laws pertaining to having one. Just the way there are absolutely no exceptions to the rights enumerated in the 4th amendment. Oh, wait….

    Good lord, people.

  5. This is an stupid and unneccessary policy that should be removed. I was also saddened that the great University of Akron doesn’t provide health insurance for its teachers. They should be ashamed of themselves on both issues. This sounds more like a policy Wal Mart would put into place.

  6. I think that a lot of folks grew up without seat belts.

    I am say and will keep saying that sometimes rights are stripped away a little bit at a time until you have no rights.

    It is like a oil drip on a vehicle. You can keep it going ok so long as it is serviced and keep a check on the oil level. Say you then have a gasket leak, well either you can put some gunk stuff to clog it and stop the leak or you can service it totally and do what is right to start with and keep it running.

    If you don’t service it or keep track of the oil level then it goes away slowly and then the engine seizes up and then you don’t go no where because the engine is useless and alls you have is expensive metal, plastic, fluids and rubber.

    The constitution is the engine and it must be serviced periodically by new laws or court cases. If you use the wrong type of oil it may still run but not the way the manufacture intended.

  7. And it’s ushered in on the premise of protecting our children. What, you don’t want to protect the children? What’s wrong with you?

  8. The following quoted excerpts are important because I fear that the weight of ignorance by the majority of our citizenry—regarding our Constitutional rights/liberties—is so heavy that it threatens to cause the complement of us to lose those cherished freedoms. Please take the time to access the link and read this brief article, as a refresher.
    ________________________________

    Quote:

    [ Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them

    Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute

    —–

    “It astonishes me to find… [that so many] of our countrymen… should be contented to live under a system which leaves to their governors the power of taking from them the trial by jury in civil cases, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce, the habeas corpus laws, and of yoking them with a standing army. This is a degeneracy in the principles of liberty… which I [would not have expected for at least] four centuries.” –Thomas Jefferson, 1788

    Yet never has there been a time when knowing our rights has been more critical and safeguarding them more necessary. Particularly telling is the fact that even under the Obama presidency, most of the Bush administration policies and laws that curtailed our freedoms have remained intact–all of which have drastically altered the landscape of our liberties.

    Thus, it is vital that we gain a better understanding of what Thomas Jefferson described as “fetters against doing evil.” If not, I fear that with each passing day, what Jefferson called the “degeneracy” of “the principles of liberty” will grow worse until, half asleep, Americans will lose what our forefathers fought and died for.

    A short summary of the first ten amendments shows how vital these freedoms are.”]
    _________________________________

    Read the full article here:

    http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2009/06/25/know-your-rights-or-you-will-lose-them/

  9. And to think that no one got upset about the seat belt issue. It used to be a secondary offense not to wear one. Then it became a primary offense. Now even the passengers have to wear one or they and the driver face a ticket.

    No one seemed to get upset about this but me. It saved lives. Well, take a little bit a way at a time and then what happens? You get what you asked for….

  10. The ACLU is tracking this type of thing as well. Here is a some info on govt. use of our DNA:

    “State and Federal DNA databanks are expanding at an alarming rate. A crime prevention tool that was originally intended only to track the most dangerous convicted felons, police departments and other law enforcement agencies across the country have begun collecting and permanently storing DNA from arrestees and other innocent persons. This trend not only represents a grave threat to privacy and the 4th Amendment, but it also turns the legal notion that a person is “innocent until proven guilty” on its head.”

  11. From the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

    (b) Acquisition of Genetic Information- It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to request, require, or purchase genetic information with respect to an employee or a family member of the employee except– …

    I fail to see where the University of Akron falls into any of the exception categories.

  12. Der Motherland is proud very proud of compliance’s of the people. You thought that the numbering system that I implemented years ago was so awful. Now look at you, you too want to do as I did and you want to track these people everywhere they are going.

    The world is better because of the laboratory’s that were created just for this research. I now know why you waited more than 50 years to utilize it, the patented process has now expired and you do not have to pay me or my country royalties.

    AH.

    With the main story Just stop and think how true and scary this really is. You want an ID card that carries all of your identification on it and if it gets lost or someone steals it or something. You are screwed.

    Oh, another thought. For those that do International Travel get a Secure IR Passport Case. The elements have figured out how to read your passport information and utilize it for their own advantage. This is known as skimming. Link: http://travel.state.gov/passport/eppt/eppt_2788.html#Twelve

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