About Records Management
Records management is the systematic control of records throughout their lifecycle - from their creation or receipt to their disposal or transfer to Archives. Being mindful of the records we create and how we manage them has many benefits. It ensures that records of enduring historical, legal, or fiscal value are captured and preserved. It also allows for the timely destruction of records that are non-essential, to minimize litigation risks, reduce operating costs, and improve organization.
Fundamentally, records management is as much about improving efficiency and sustainability as it is about regulatory compliance.
Who is Responsible?
All employees at Lawrence are responsible for managing and maintaining the records they create or receive in compliance with the LU Records Management Policy and procedures developed by the University.
Records coordinators have been designated as appropriate to serve as liaisons with the University Archives in implementing records management procedures at the department or office level.
Records management at Lawrence is coordinated by the University Archives in consultation with an advisory group and administrative staff.
Records Management Advisory Group members:
Steve Armstrong, Director of Technology Services
Erin Dix, University Archivist and Assistant Professor
Pete Gilbert, Director of the Library and Associate Professor
Sandy Isselmann, Director of Human Resources
Ruth Lanouette, Associate Dean of the Faculty and Associate Professor of German
Liz Miller, Associate Director of Financial Services
Anne Norman, Registrar
Bill Skinner, Director of Research Administration
What is a University Record?
University records consist of recorded information that is created or received by University employees in the course of performing official functions on behalf of the University. Records are defined by content rather than by format and thus include those that are paper, electronic, email, or any other format from which information can be retrieved.
In general, if the items in question document a transaction, the formulation or interpretation of a policy, the substantive business of your office or department, or the historical development of Lawrence programs, then they are probably records.
- Meeting minutes and agendas for committees of the faculty or the President provide critical documentation of University governance and decision-making and are designated for permanent retention in the Archives
- Official copies of contracts are retained by the Office of Financial Services for the life of the contract plus 6 years, to meet legal and operational requirements
- Student academic records (forms, correspondence, etc.) that are NOT part of the student's permanent academic record are retained by the Registrar for 5 years beyond the student's graduation or date of last attendance, in accordance with AACRAO recommendations
What is NOT a University Record?
Not all documents produced or maintained in an office must be retained systematically. The list below describes items in a typical office that are not classified as records and therefore do not need to be categorized or maintained as such. These materials may be destroyed at any time if they are no longer needed by the office holding them.
- large quantities of duplicate material (this includes the majority of cc'd email)
- published magazines, newspapers, or reports produced by other entities
- blank letterhead or other blank forms
- routing slips or telephone messages
- routine letters of transmittal and “for your information” notes
- memoranda that give only timely information such as a change of venue for a meeting
- notes or working papers once a project is completed, unless they provide more complete information than the final report