Purpose and Goals
The purpose of the records program is to promote efficient administration and management of the records of Michigan State University. University Archives & Historical Collections staff provide guidance on maintenance, retention, and storage of official university records based on their legal, administrative, and historical value to MSU.
“Records Management [RM] is intrinsically unglamorous but vital to the efficient running of your institution’s daily operations. It is also the essential tool which underpins your institution’s legal and regulatory compliances.” [JISC: Joint Information Systems Committee, UK3]
Records management is vital to the university. It ensures compliance with institutional regulations and state and federal laws such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The university is legally required to keep specified documents.
Records management offers other significant advantages to the university. These are:
- Increased administrative efficiency—Employees are more efficient when records are organized and accessible.
- Office space savings—Valuable space is freed up as inactive records are transferred to UAHC.
- Retained control of records—Transferred inactive records can be retrieved as needed by an office until they are destroyed or retained in the historical archives.
- Security—UAHC offers secure storage for inactive records. UAHC is locked and alarmed and only accessible to the UAHC staff.
These benefits are achieved through the use of retention schedules.
A record is “information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business” (ISO 15489-The International Records Management Standards). A record may be active or inactive.
A record series is a set of records identical in form and/or function and have approximately the same date, fiscal year, or logical chronological grouping. These records support specific administrative functions of a department or unit.