Records management establishment and authority
The mandate of University Archives & Historical Collections (UAHC) was founded on a resolution of the MSU Board of Trustees, as recorded in the minutes of November 21, 1969. This resolution claims all records reflecting the official activities of university officers and offices are the property of Michigan State University and that such property could not be destroyed without the approval of the director of archives. The full name, University Archives & Historical Collections, was established during a meeting of the Board of Trustees, as recorded in the minutes of September 17, 1970, to reflect UAHC’s identity as a repository for historically significant collections as well as university records.
Electronic records management
Electronic records management applies the same principles of paper records management in an electronic environment. Many of the traditional paper records now are found only in an electronic or digital format. Examples are:
- Instant messages
- Scanned images of paper documents
- Files created using applications such as Word or Excel
- Web sites
- Digital photographs
- Audio-visual materials
- Information stored in databases
Managing these records is a shared responsibility among the record creator, information technology staff, campus administration, and UAHC.
MSU and UAHC strive to acquire systems and tools to support the administration of these records.
Laws, regulations, and policies
There are many federal and state laws and university regulations, ordinances, and policies that pertain to the management, retention, and accessibility of university records.
Federal laws applicable to university records management are:
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also know as the Buckley Amendment—Signed into law August 21, 1974, and effective November 19, 1974, FERPA protects the privacy of student education records. The act affords parents the right to access and seek to amend their children’s educational records up to the age of 18. When a student turns 18 or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights transfer from the parents to the student. FERPA allows the student to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the educational record.
- Privacy Act of 1974 or Omnibus code of fair information practices—Effective September 27, 1975, this act regulates the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information. The purpose of the act is to restrict disclosure of information about individuals with the rights of the individuals to be protected against unwarranted invasions of their privacy.
- Paperwork Reduction Act—Revised from 1977 and effective September 30, 1995, this act minimizes the paperwork burden for individuals, offices, businesses, contractors, governments, and other persons. It ensures the greatest possible benefit from and maximizes the utility of information created, collected, maintained, used, shared, and disseminated. The act coordinates, integrates, and makes uniform policies and practices as a means to improve productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of information collected. It provides for the dissemination of information on a timely basis, on equitable terms, and in a manner that promotes the utility of the information.
- Historical Records Act—Effective June 19, 1934, any record created more than 20 years ago may have historical or evidentiary value and should be reviewed by the UAHC for possible long-term retention.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule (HIPAA)—Effective August 21, 1996, and revised August 14, 2002, this act established a set of national standards for the protection of certain health information. The privacy rule addresses the use and disclosure of individuals’ health information as well as standards for individuals’ privacy rights to understand and control how their health information is used.
UAHC developed retention schedules designed to satisfy these university and governmental requirements.
The university’s policy repository will be available at a future date.