Records Management Policies and Procedures
Administration of the legal and policy requirements regarding the disposal of University records is vested in the University Archivist at each campus. This includes the University's Records Disposition Scheduling. This policy confirms that and authorizes the University Archivists to develop use of a common form and procedure for records scheduling. The University Records Disposition Scheduling form is a part of this.
Authority for Records Management Program
To comply with the Illinois State Records Act (5 ILCS 160) and the University of Illinois General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure, all University of Illinois campus and University Administration offices are required to secure approval of the University archivist, the secretary of the Board of Trustees, and the State Records Commission prior to discarding or deleting official University records. The General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure, October 16, 1998, Article VI, Section 4 states that:
(b) Records produced or received by any agency or employee of the University in the transaction of University business become University property. For the purposes of this paragraph, records shall be defined as including all documents, correspondence, accounts, files, manuscripts, publications, photographs, tapes, drawings, or other material bearing upon the activities and functions of the University or its officers and employees. (See note 1)
No University records shall be discarded or destroyed except upon the prior approval of the archivist pursuant to the finding and recommendation by the administrative unit involved that such records have no further administrative value. The archivist shall withhold the approval of any such action until satisfied that the records involved have no value for other administrative offices and that they need not be retained for legal reasons, as determined by appropriate officers. Where appropriate, the archivist may arrange for the transfer of records to the University Archives as an alternative to destruction.
(c) Pursuant to the State Records Act, Illinois Compiled Statutes, 5 ILCS 160/21, January 1, 1992, the University archivist shall forward approved requests for permission to discard or destroy records to the president and to the State Records Commission for their approvals.
Records Disposal requests are subject to an approval process which reflects requirements of State law and the University's General Rules. Prior to 1985, Records Disposal Authorizations were signed by only the University archivist and the department head or unit administrator responsible for the records. In 1985, the State of Illinois Records Act was amended to bring the state universities into the Act's purview. The president's approval authority was subsequently delegated to the secretary of the Board of Trustees. In June 1985 letter, university counsel provided a legal opinion that the secretary of the Board of Trustees may be authorized to sign for the president. Such authority was provided in a letter of April 16, 1991, from President Stanley Ikenberry, and this memo accordingly confirms that authority.
Records Scheduling Procedures
The inventorying and scheduling of any office's records may be initiated either by the archivist or by the office itself. If the scheduling is initiated by the archivist, he or she may first consult with the University librarian or the dean of the college in which the office resides before initiating a broad records survey and scheduling process. University procedures should include the following steps before records may be destroyed:
- Inventory of the records by the office itself, the campus archives, an authorized representative of the Records Management Unit of the Illinois State Archives, or external consultants working under a contract meeting the terms of the archivist, dean of the parent college, and the State Records Management Unit.
In any case where the records in question incorporate electronic computer data, the archivist is authorized and encouraged to work closely with all supporting computer systems personnel whether they are part of the records creating office or a campus systems office or office within University administration.
- Preparation of a draft Records Disposal Authorization (RDA) by Archives staff. The form attached in Appendix A is provided as a template. Once the RDA is drafted, the archivist exercises final editorial control over the content of the schedule as well as authority over retention recommendations.
- Review, approval, and signature of the RDA by the department head and archivist. If necessary, the archivist consults with University counsel, the Office of Business and Financial Services, or other relevant offices to determine legal, administrative, and regulatory requirements for retention periods.
- Signature by secretary of the Board of Trustees.
- Review by State Records Commission and signature by Secretary of State.
- Completion of Records Disposal Certificate by office disposing of records and its approval by the State Records Commission.
Within the framework provided by these six steps, the archivist at each campus is free to develop the most effective policies and procedures for records scheduling at the individual campus. Campus offices which need to schedule records should contact the campus archivist or visit one of the following websites:
"Record" or "records" means all books, papers, maps, photographs, or other official documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made produced, executed or received by any agency of the State in pursuance of state law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its successor as evidence of the organization, function, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the State or of the State Government, or because of the informational data contained therein.
2001.04.10; links updated 2009.09.01