Information Technology Services
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAM - December 1991
In 1963 President Clark Kerr established a Records Management Program for the University, and appointed a University-wide Records Management Committee to coordinate the program at the campuses and at the Office of the President.
Among the objectives of the Program are the following:
- to assure economy and efficiency in the creation, organization, maintenance, use, and retrieval of administrative records;
- to promote sound records management practices;
- to establish and monitor a program of records disposition to assure that University records are not maintained longer than necessary, but are maintained as long as needed to meet administrative and legal requirements;
- to assure the protection of records vital to the University; and
- to ensure the preservation of records of historical importance.
Policies and procedures pertaining to the Records Management Program and the Records Disposition Program can be found in Business and Finance Bulletins RMP-1 and RMP-2. Guidelines to assure the protection of vital records are presented in Business and Finance Bulletin RMP-4. The campus or University-wide Records Management Coordinator is the individual to contact when questions arise concerning disposition schedules or any other area of records management.
RECORDS DISPOSITIONRecords disposition refers to the destruction or systematic transfer to archival storage of records no longer needed for everyday operations, or frequent reference, or to satisfy requirements of external agencies. The objectives of the records disposition program are:
- to protect the University and its component parts by ensuring that all legal, historical, fiscal, and administrative requirements are satisfied before records are destroyed;
- to conserve valuable staff time managing records by removing inactive or obsolete material from office files;
- to conserve resources and space by avoiding the purchase, lease, or reservation of equipment and facilities to file unneeded records, and by releasing surplus equipment and facilities for other uses;
- to maintain a regular, controlled flow of records from offices to destruction or archival storage.
Records disposition schedules are official documents adopted by the Committee and published by the Senior Vice President-Administration showing all actions to be taken in relation to the disposition of records. Schedules enumerate the title of the record, record number (if any), office of record, and the disposition schedule (retention period, in years) for the record copy and other copies of administrative records.
Disposition schedules for records found on more than one campus are collected in the Records Disposition Schedules Manual. This Manual formalizes the decisions on retention periods and provides guidance for all University departments and offices in administering the retention or disposition of their records. The Manual contains disposition schedules for records classified by functions: Administrative, Auxiliary and Service Enterprises, Fiscal, Medical, Payroll/ Personnel/Benefits, Physical Plant, Student and Applicant Records, Library, and Administrative Electronic Data.
As disposition schedules are published, they are issued periodically in loose-leaf form for insertion in a three-ring binder. The disposition schedules are mandatory not only to assure uniform retention of materials for their period of officially recognized usefulness but also to assure that materials are not kept unnecessarily for excessive periods of time. No records should be destroyed for which a schedule has not been established. Requests for the establishment of new disposition schedules should be sent to the campus or University-wide Records Management Coordinator for referral to the Records Management Committee. (See procedures prescribed in Business and Finance Bulletin RMP-2.)