Information Management: Developing a Records Management Plan
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  • Today we are going to begin with an overview of records management, then discuss records assessment and the development of an information report based on our work.
    I wanted to start today with this image. This vision of dusty boxes and papers is a common perception of archives. The place where stuff is preserved for posterity – rarely to be seen again.
  • Modern archives and information management units are technology centers that help us to get organized and to find information more efficiently.
    Records management is a component of information management, which encompasses the entire ecosystem of information that we create here at the college. Information = records.
    There are several information management projects developing on campus (LCME tracking system, intranet, faculty database, research support).
  • Records provide evidence of the organizational structure, functions, policies, decisions, procedures and operations of the college.
  • Records are defined by their content, not their physical form or media.
    (Bill Gates, 1996)
  • Records include paper, electronic, audiovisual and virtual (online) information.
    The content of the records is the value, not the media or format.
    For example, we may have student grades collected in multiple formats, but the grade is important not the spreadsheet.
    The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA (Mark Schultz)
  • Records management is a business and legal function that we are required to perform by the state, not nostalgia.
    We must provide public access to our records. They belong to the public.
    (Francesco Petrarca)
  • As you know from FERPA training, we are required to protect confidential information.
    The most common confidential violation is the inadvertent or accidental exposure of information.
    Records management provides quality control to ensure that confidential records are secure.
  • The benefits of a records management schedule:
    Improves the ability to locate and retrieve records
    Reduces litigation risks
    Controls the unrestrained growth of records volume
    Demonstrates compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements
  • Records have life cycle: creation, active use and disposition.
    Disposition is the stage when we determine whether to keep or destroy records.
  • A records management schedule provides the standards: what, when and how long to keep records.
    Common retention rules:
    Time based = "after the calendar year created" or "after the fiscal year created.“
    Event based = "after project is closed" or "after last date of attendance.”
  • A records series is a collection of the same as the type of record. For example, the series might be “meeting minutes”, and the individual DAG committee minutes for September 26 is a record in the series.
    Each record, or record series, in a unit will have a unique retention schedule.
    If your unit produces 20 different record series (types) = 20 different schedules.
  • Legal value is a primary reason for records management schedules.
    If we dispose/archive records following a schedule, we protect ourselves from some litigation time and costs.
  • Some of the records we create here at the college are historical.
    Media Services and University Relations produce these records when they provide outreach and media coverage for events and when prominent people visit the campus.
  • Inventory: Evaluating records is tricky when we address records that are used by several units, or records of the same series that are produced in separate units. For example, meeting minutes.
  • Our initial goal is to complete an evaluation of unit records, which includes:
    An inventory.
    Document reporting needs.
    Develop records management schedule for regulatory reporting (non-UA).
    Identify the need for potential digitization.
    Identify a coordinator for each unit. This can be the unit leader or the staff member(s) responsible for records in the unit.
    Familiar with unit records.
    Knowledgeable about reporting institution requirements.
  • Step 1 is to complete an inventory.
    Responsible Unit: a records retention schedule is a timetable for how long to keep a record. Some records, like student grades, are created and reported by several units in Academic Affairs.
    But, at the end of the chain of creators and users, Kelly collects and reports student grades, which makes her office the responsible unit for student grades.
  • Inventory: Multiple units using the same records? Identify the responsible disposition unit.
  • Step 2: document reporting needs, especially the non-UA regulatory institutions that we are responsible to…LCME, AAMC, etc.
    If your unit produces 20 records series that = 20 different schedules. The inventory and reporting assessment will guide the development of a record management schedule for the non-UA reporting institutions.
  • Step 3: UA only accepts paper documents. The good news is that they provides supplies and logistics.
    Important: the unit coordinator will assist in identifying any record series schedules that need to be adjusted with the university.
  • Please mark any records that are needed for digitization. Records that we need to keep AND use for a long time would be a good choice (student grades for credentialing).
    Records that will be destroyed or delivered to UA Archives in less than 5 years can be kept in existing paper format because we have to deliver all records to UA in paper format.
    This will help in preparing the needs assessment on campus.
  • Would you please volunteer a staff member to take an inventory and provide a general overview of unit needs?
    I estimate that the largest units (Academic Affairs or Research) will take about 2-3 hours to complete the inventory.
    The thinking about options and gathering requirements from reporting institutions will take the most time.
    If your unit has little or no need for a records inventory or management, please identify the person I can speak with to document the units Record Management Schedule for the leadership report.
  • Questions?
  • Identify unit records coordinators.
    Review the UA Retention Schedule to ensure that the Responsible Unit is identified correctly for each record series.
    Review the online inventory form.
    Reasonable deadline?
    I will reach out to the unit coordinators to provide detailed training and support.


  • 1. Evaluation Reporting StorageDigitization DispositionInstitutional Archives Information Management: Developing a Records Management Plan Susan Barrett Twitter: @suebeeinaz
  • 2. Topics 1.Information management. 2.Records management. 3. Evaluating records. 4. Inventory. 1. Reporting. 2. Documentation. 3. RMAA. 4. Digitization. 5. Unit records coordinator.
  • 3. Information Overload Records document what we do and how we do it.
  • 4. Area 51
  • 5. Content is King Student Grades Financial Receipts Academic Calendars Faculty Publications Website Biographies Research Grants Admission Applications
  • 6. The Stuff of Life
  • 7. Glory is Acquired by Virtue but Preserved by Letters We must maintain records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures and essential transactions of the agency designed to furnish information to protect the rights of the state and of persons directly affected by the agency's activities. ARS 41-151.14(A)(2)
  • 8. Confidential Records ARS 44-7601 An entity shall not knowingly discard or dispose of records or documents without redacting the information or destroying the records or documents if the records or documents contain: 1. An individual's first and last name or 2. Last name in combination with a: A. Social security number. B. Credit card, charge card or debit card number. C. Retirement account number. D. Savings, checking or securities entitlement account number. E. Driver license number or non-operating identification license number.
  • 9. Lean In Workers spend: • 28 percent of their time, reading, writing or responding to email. • An additional 19 percent of their time tracking down information to complete their tasks. 2012 McKinsey Global Institute Report
  • 10. Creation Active Use Disposition The Circle of Life • Records have a life cycle: creation > active use > disposition • Two types of records: 1. Permanent. 2. Temporary.
  • 11. Timing is Everything A records management schedule: • Describes the records. • Defines the length of time to keep the records. • Defines when and how to send records to oversight/accreditation organizations. • Defines when to send the originals to the university archive.
  • 12. Schedules are Unique Each record, or record series, in a unit will have a unique retention schedule: If your unit produces 20 different record series (types) = 20 different schedules.
  • 13.  Click to edit the outline text format  Second Outline Level − Third Outline Level  Fourth Outline Level  Click to edit the outline text format  Second Outline Level − Value of Records • Administrative value = records that help your office do its work (student grades, meeting minutes, policies, manuals, reports). • Fiscal value = document financial authorizations and transactions and are often subject to audit (budget, expenditures, p-card receipts). • Legal value = records subject to official actions such as subpoenas, investigations or lawsuits (employment records, admission records).
  • 14. Historical Value • Historical or research value – these records document significant historical events or may reflect decisions about significant activities in the community (PBC campus grand opening, Buffmire lectures, Cancer Center groundbreaking). • If a record is historically significant, it is a permanent record.
  • 15. Variety is the Spice of Life Evaluating Records • What do you create (policies, brochures, grades, reports)? • What type of records do you have (paper, electronic, virtual)? • Is it labeled and identified, or stuffed in a filing cabinet, or floating in cyberspace? • The content is important, not the media.
  • 16. Make a New Plan, Stan Initial goal is to complete an evaluation of unit records, which includes: 1. An inventory. 2. Document reporting needs. 3. Develop records management schedule for regulatory reporting. 4. Identify the need for potential digitization. 5. Identify a coordinator for each unit. This can be the unit leader or the staff member(s) responsible for records in the unit who is:  Familiar with unit records.  Knowledgeable about reporting institution requirements.
  • 17. Monkey in the Middle? Step 1: Complete an inventory 1. Identify the records created in the unit.  Record series (personnel records, student records, financial records).  Volume of records.  Identify the dates/years that the records were created.  Identify all confidential records.  Identify any existing naming or filing conventions.  Identify staffing = match job descriptions to the records (registrar = grades).  Determine if there are records that are not currently managed by a staff member.
  • 18. On Closer Inspection … 2. Identify the media and storage locations.  Paper (filing rooms).  Electronic (shared drive, CD, work computer).  Virtual (Google Drive, SurveyMonkey, Dropbox).  Do you move records from virtual to local storage? If yes, document it. 2. Identify copies: these should never be kept longer than the original.  Format (paper, electronic, virtual).  Storage location (shared drive, CD, work computer). 
  • 19. High Surf or Balmy Breezes? Step 2: Identify reporting needs Identify and document: 1. The regulatory/accreditation institutions that request unit records. 2. If any other institutional units are responsible for reporting unit records (administrative, financial or human resources). 3. When you are required to report data to the institution (schedule). 4. What method of delivery (paper or electronic). 5. How long you are required to keep those records for reporting purposes per institution. 6. How long you refer to those records within the office (active use period).
  • 20. Feng Shui Step 3: Institutional Records Management and Archives Department We are responsible for collecting records for the Records Management and Archives Department (RMAA). The institutional archivist is the officer responsible to the State of Arizona. 1. RMAA will acquire permission from the state to digitize paper documents. 1. RMAA will provide us with folders, boxes and other supplies. 2. RMAA will pick-up all the records for free.
  • 21. Beam Me Up, Scotty Step 4: Digitization  Transforming paper records to electronic records is expensive.  Information Technology staff need to plan where to store and secure electronic data, especially confidential records, and to plan for the server space needed.  Equipment or software may need to be purchased. Scanning  The state requires minimum standards for scanning.  Information and training will be supplied at a later
  • 22. Herding Ducks Step 5: Unit Coordinator 1. Identify a records coordinator for each unit. 2. Perform a record series inventory. This is a general overview of records managed in the unit.
  • 23. Questions?
  • 24. Forward! Unit inventories will inform: • The volume of records to be managed. • The types of records. • Staff needs and experience with records management. • The need for digitization. • The potential purchase of software or equipment. • Time and staff to develop an efficient information work flow per unit.