University Records Management
UPPS No. 01.04.32
Issue No. 1
Effective Date: 7/19/2016
Next Review Date: 6/01/2021 (E5Y)
Sr. Reviewer: University Archivist and Records Manager
University records are important assets and must be managed to ensure their protection and accessibility.
Each employee is responsible for protecting university records and assuring the authenticity, utility, integrity, confidentiality, and availability of university records, from creation to disposition.
The Texas State University Records Retention Schedule (RRS), as certified by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) Records Management Assistance unit, is the official policy for retaining and disposing of university records. See State Agency Bulletin Number Four: State Records Management Laws.
The RRS applies to all university records, regardless of format.
The RRS is designed to accommodate changes in state and federal laws regarding records retention requirements. To avoid conflicting retention periods and outdated retention information, university policy and procedure statements (such as UPPS, PPS, and OL documents) should not specify retention periods and should instead refer only to the record series number and title as listed on the RRS. Should conflicts arise, the RRS is the authoritative source for records retention guidance.
In the event of conflicting retention periods within the RRS, such as when a record serves more than one function or when multiple records are gathered to serve a single function, default to the longest retention period.
The RRS is a dynamic document designed to accommodate the changing functions of the university. All records, regardless of format, must correspond to a record series on the RRS. Employees should notify the records manager of any records that do not appear to fit within the RRS, or of any existing records series that need to be revised.
As events warrant, specific records or record series may be selected for audit, requested per the Public Information Act, held per a litigation hold notice, or involved in another action. When a record is involved in an action, disposition activity for that record will cease until the action is complete.
As events warrant, The Texas State University System (TSUS) Office of General Counsel may issue a litigation hold notice (also known as a Notice of Preservation of Records) to specific individuals or units with instructions to cease records disposition activity related to specific records series. Recipients of the hold notice must immediately comply with all hold-related instructions, including those from the TSUS Office of the General Counsel and Information Technology (IT), and will suspend any personal practices that would alter or destroy any recorded information related to the hold request. Note that a litigation hold notice does not simply expire; the hold must be specifically lifted in writing by the TSUS Office of the General Counsel. When the hold is officially lifted in writing by the TSUS Office of the General Counsel, routine records disposition activity may resume.
In the event that a function of the university ceases, the supervising office takes responsibility for the records of the ceased function. Records must be accessible throughout the full retention period, and records must be retained and disposed according to the RRS.
Records stored in approved university electronic repositories will be created, maintained, and retained, and disposition will be initiated by the records owners or administrators. Database administrators assume the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the records in the system by ensuring the system meets the technical requirements set forth by the State of Texas in State Agency Bulletin Number One: Electronic Records Standards and Procedures.
Record – recorded information, in any format, created or received in the course of performing university business and maintained as evidence of and information about the transaction of university business. This information meets the definition of a state record in the Texas Government Code, Texas Government Code, §441.031 and §441.180.
Record Copy – the primary copy of recorded information – often referred to as the “original” or “official” record. The record copy must be retained and disposed according to the RRS.
Convenience Copy – additional copies of records that are held by individuals or offices. Convenience copies are often distributed for information, are not necessarily related to the function of the department, and are exact duplicates of the record copy. Convenience copies are considered non-records as long as they are held no longer than the retention period for the record copy.
Electronic Record – a university record that exists in a computer-readable format. Information that meets the definition of a state record in the Texas Government Code, Texas Government Code, §441.031 and §441.180, and is maintained in electronic format for computer processing, including the product of computer processing of the information. Electronic records are governed by the RRS, regardless of format or location.
University Records Manager – the person responsible for maintaining the university’s RRS and submitting it for State certification per Texas records management laws. The records manager also provides retention and disposition training for employees, reviews RDLs, and identifies historical records for transfer to the University Archives.
Record Owner – the person ultimately responsible for managing university records. According to the State of Texas, the agency head is the person ultimately responsible for the creation, retention, access, and disposition of all university records. Members of the executive and academic leadership team are also considered records owners (vice presidents, provost, deans, etc.).
Records Administrator – an individual who is assigned authority by a record owner to create, retain, access, or dispose of university records.
Records Retention Schedule (RRS) – a dynamic list of all records series created by the university that includes the required length of time that each type of record must be retained. The RRS is the policy that governs the retention and disposition of university records.
Records Series – a unit for organizing records that are maintained together because they relate to a specific subject or function, result from the same activity, document a specific type of transaction, take a particular physical form, or have some other relationship arising out of their creation, receipt, maintenance, or use.
E-mail – an electronic method of communication. The RRS addresses the retention of university records; individual e-mail messages may be classified as records or non-records and managed accordingly.
Electronic Repository – approved document management systems that are managed by system administrators to ensure the integrity and accessibility of the university’s electronic records.
Records Disposition – the final operation taken in a record’s lifecycle, after the record has met the required retention period, and may result in destruction, deletion, or transfer to the University Archives.
Records Disposition Log (RDL) – a one-page form, required by the State of Texas, to document all records disposition activity at the university. This form accommodates both paper and electronic records and indicates whether the records are to be shredded, recycled, deleted or purged electronically, or transferred to the University Archives.
Litigation Hold Notice – a communication directing the halt of scheduled disposition of any records that are potentially relevant to litigation, investigation, or audit. NOTE: a litigation hold notice is also known as a “hold notice” or simply a “hold;” the TSUS Office of General Counsel uses a “Notice of Preservation of Records” to initiate a litigation hold.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE UNIVERSITY RECORDS MANAGER
The records manager will comply with the requirements set forth by the State of Texas for all agencies, including: following the instructions for the RRS certification or recertification process, submitting the university RRS for certification by the stated deadline, and communicating with the State records analysts during the review process.
Prior to each recertification cycle, the records manager will work with employees to identify any new records series and to revise any existing series to help ensure the RRS accurately represents all records created by the university.
During the certification period, the records manager can submit an amendment to the State of Texas to request certification of any necessary updates to the RRS. An amendment to the RRS is generally submitted in the middle of the certification period.
The records manager will research retention for any new or revised record series to ensure the proposed retention meets federal and state laws or best practices.
The records manager will provide training to promote university-wide compliance with the RRS through widespread understanding of retention requirements and procedures for the disposition of university records.
Upon request, the records manager may provide records consultations to individuals who have attended the basic records management training sessions, and may provide customized training to departments and offices.
The records manager will work with the TSUS Office of General Counsel to provide assistance with any litigation hold notice, including reviewing RDLs to help identify any records involved with the hold notice in order to help prevent disposition of those records until the hold is lifted.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF RECORD OWNERS
Understand and comply with records retention and disposition requirements as detailed in the RRS.
As appropriate, appoint records administrators to manage university records, including the retention and disposition of records according to the RRS.
Encourage records administrators to attend records management training every two years.
Encourage records administrators to review records annually to maintain compliance with retention and disposition requirements.
In the event that an entire unit, office, or department ceases operations, the records owner will ensure that the records are transferred to the supervising office, where the records must be retrievable throughout the full retention period and be retained and disposed according to the RRS.
Records owners who receive a litigation hold notice will acknowledge the receipt in writing of the hold and comply with requests and instructions from the TSUS Office of General Counsel and IT staff. All staff who work with records related to the hold will suspend all personal practices that could alter or delete any relevant information in any format (i.e., do not change or delete any e-mail, voice mail, drafts of documents, etc.). When the hold is lifted in writing by the TSUS Office of the General Counsel, records disposition activity may resume.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF RECORD ADMINISTRATORS
Records administrators are encouraged to attend training once every two years to stay informed of records management policies and procedures for retaining and disposing university records. Records management workshops are held each long semester.
Record administrators will adhere to the RRS by reviewing their records annually to determine which records have fulfilled the retention requirements. Records in paper format, as well as electronic records in databases, file shares, or other electronic repositories, must be managed according to the RRS.
Records administrators will follow the procedure for properly documenting the disposition of university records. This responsibility includes accurately completing the RDL, requesting approval from the records manager prior to any disposition activity, and submitting the completed form to the records manager following disposition activity.
Records administrators may request assistance from database system administrators to implement any automated records disposition functions built into the database. However, records administrators have sole responsibility for requesting disposition, ensuring disposition has been completed, and for documenting the disposition of their records via an RDL.
Records administrators who discover a record series that is not included on the RRS will contact the records manager for a consultation. Records that do not appear on the RRS cannot be disposed via the RDL until a new record series is certified by the State and included on our RRS.
Records administrators will stop all related disposition activity when a hold notice is issued. Records administrators will acknowledge in writing the receipt of the hold and comply with the requests and instructions from the TSUS Office of General Counsel and IT staff. All staff who work with records related to the hold will suspend all personal practices that could alter or delete any relevant information in any format (i.e., do not change or delete any e-mail, voice mail, drafts of documents, etc.). When the hold is lifted by the TSUS Office of General Counsel, records disposition activity may resume.
REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS
Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:
Position Date University Archivist & Records Manager June 1 E5Y Associate Vice President and University Librarian June 1 E5Y Vice President for Information Technology June 1 E5Y
This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
University Archivist & Records Manager; senior reviewer of this UPPS
Associate Vice President and University Librarian
Vice President for Information Technology