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 (http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/the_social_economy)
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 = &quot;after the calendar year created&quot; or &quot;after the fiscal year created.“ Event based = &quot;after project is closed&quot; or &quot;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.
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.
Developing a Records Management Plan
3. Evaluating records.
5. Unit records coordinator.
Records document what we do and how we do it.
Glory is Acquired by Virtue but Preserved by Letters
We must maintain records
containing adequate and
proper documentation of the
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
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
2. Last name in combination with a:
A. Social security number.
B. Credit card, charge card or debit card
C. Retirement account number.
D. Savings, checking or securities entitlement
E. Driver license number or non-operating
identification license number.
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
The Circle of Life
Records have a life cycle:
creation > active use > disposition
Two types of records:
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.
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.
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Value of Records
Administrative value = records that help
your office do its work (student grades,
meeting minutes, policies, manuals,
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,
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.
Variety is the
Spice of Life
What do you create (policies,
brochures, grades, reports)?
What type of records do you
have (paper, electronic,
Is it labeled and identified, or
stuffed in a filing cabinet, or
floating in cyberspace?
The content is important, not
Make a New Plan, Stan
Initial goal is to complete an evaluation of unit records,
1. An inventory.
2. Document reporting needs.
3. Develop records management schedule for
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
Monkey in the Middle?
Step 1: Complete an inventory
1. Identify the records created in the unit.
Record series (personnel records, student records, financial
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
Determine if there are records that are not currently managed by
a staff member.
On Closer Inspection …
2. Identify the media and storage locations.
Paper (filing rooms).
Electronic (shared drive, CD, work
Virtual (Google Drive, SurveyMonkey,
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
High Surf or
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
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).
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
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.
Beam Me Up, Scotty
Step 4: Digitization
Transforming paper records to electronic records is
Information Technology staff need to plan where
to store and secure electronic data, especially
confidential records, and to plan for the server
Equipment or software may need to be purchased.
The state requires minimum standards for
Information and training will be supplied at a later
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.
Unit inventories will inform:
The volume of records to be
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.