University Governance, Ethics, Integrity, and Legal Compliance
University Records Policy
ScopeAcademic and administrative units
Records Management provides systematic, cost-effective control of the University's records from creation to final disposition in order to:
Record: A record is defined as any information, regardless of physical format, which has legal, fiscal, administrative or enduring value, including but not limited to paper, microforms, photographs, drawings, maps, motion picture film, and electronic records maintained in magnetic or optical format such as databases, e-mail, voicemail, CDs and DVDs, videotapes and audio tapes, computer tapes and discs, and word processing documents.
Inactive Records: Inactive records are those no longer required to carry out the administrative or operational functions for which they were created, but must be kept for administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical purposes in accordance with approved records retention schedules.
Vital Records: Vital records are those necessary to re-establish or continue the University in the event of a disaster; to recreate the University's legal and financial position; or to preserve the rights of the University, its trustees, faculty, staff, and students.
Archival Records: Archival records are those determined to be of enduring value and therefore preserved and made available for historical research in the University Archives.
Records created or received during the normal course of University business are the property of Syracuse University, and all employees are responsible for ensuring that records are managed in accordance with University policies and in compliance with applicable federal and state laws. The same safeguards and controls over information stored electronically apply as for information created and maintained in paper form. Departments will retain records according to retention schedules developed in conjunction with Records Management staff and approved by legal counsel.
Inactive University records may be stored in the University Records Center which offers departments a centralized low-cost storage facility where inactive records may be stored, retrieved and destroyed once the legal retention period has passed. Records in the University Records Center remain under the control of the depositing department, and may be retrieved by that department as needed. Records in the University Records Center are not available for research except by staff of the depositing department or with the written permission of the depositing department. If there is adequate space, inactive records may be stored in departmental offices. Closets, basements, stairwells, attics, etc. are not considered acceptable storage places for University records and are not permitted.
Once records reach their scheduled legal disposition date, they must be removed from the University Records Center and either destroyed or deposited in the University Archives for permanent retention. Retaining records longer than the retention schedule authorizes, or disposing of records prematurely, can potentially cause legal and fiscal liabilities and is strictly forbidden.
The department, college, school or academic unit will:
Links to Procedures and Related Information
Date: June 2003
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