Why is records management important?

  • Compliance – U-M as a public institution is subject to laws that require that certain records be kept.
  • Economy – Cost for physical and digital storage are minimized and effort to respond legal discovery is reduced.
  • Institutional Memory – High-value information can be protected and is findable.
  • Efficiency – Necessary records can be found more easily if unneeded files are discarded.

What are considered records of the University of Michigan?

“University records” are defined as all records, regardless of their form, prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by administrators, faculty acting in administrative capacities, and staff of University units in the performance of an official function.

Who is responsible for managing records?

Maintaining records in a safe, secure and retrievable way is the primary responsibility of all University employees. Unit leaders have the additional responsibility to ensure that employees have clear guidance about how, when, and where records should be captured or managed, appropriate to operations, needs, risks, and all applicable laws and policies.

When should records be sent to the archives?

Records should be sent to the archives annually, with transfers scheduled to occur at a point when the records are no longer actively used on a regular basis. The duration of active use varies from office to office. Offices typically retain active records from one to five years.

Transfers may also occur when an office is moving, when responsibilities change, when a chief administrator leaves, or when an accumulation of records exceeds the amount of space available. Digital records may require more frequent transfers.

How many copies of records should be sent to the archives?

Only one.

Are there costs associated with transferring records to the archives?

University units, departments and offices may transfer records to the University Archives at no cost. Bentley staff provides onsite consultations, supplies of boxes, and subsequent processing and reference services at no cost to university units other than for duplication.

What is the best way to organize and preserve information in digital format?

Think about organizing your digital files the same way you would a filing cabinet. Create folders with primary functions and activities in the office, and then sub-folders underneath. More recommendations can be found in the Records Policy and Procedures Manual.

Are there U-M records that have restricted access once they’re sent to the archive?

University records are public records and once fully processed are generally open to research use. Records that contain personally identifiable information will be restricted in order to protect individual privacy. Certain administrative records are restricted in accordance with university policy as outlined below. The restriction of university records is subject to compliance with applicable laws, including the Freedom of Information Act.