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Old Dominion University

University Policy

3700 Records Management Policy

Responsible Oversight Executive: Vice President for Administration and Finance
Date of Current Revision or Creation: August 1, 2019
  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to establish responsibilities and requirements for records management.

  2. Authority

    Code of Virginia Section 23.1-1301, as amended, grants authority to the Board of Visitors to make rules and policies concerning the institution. Section 6.01(a)(6) of the Board of Visitors Bylaws grants authority to the President to implement the policies and procedures of the Board relating to University operations.

    Virginia Public Records Act, Code of Virginia Section 42.1-76 et seq., as amended (Section 42.1-85, included in the Act), requires state agencies, including universities, to maintain an active and continuing records management program.)

    Library of Virginia, Records Management Section

  3. Definitions

    Certificate of Destruction - Also known as an RM-3, the document approving the destruction of records in accordance with Library of Virginia (LVA) Records Retention and Disposition Schedules. A completed RM-3 Form serves as evidence of proper disposal when records are subpoenaed as evidence, audited, or investigated.

    Department Records Coordinators - Individuals who serve as liaisons between the University Records Manager and their respective departments.

    Historical/Archival Records - Records that have long-term historical value as designated by the Library of Virginia, University Archivist and/or University Records Manager. Examples of historical records include but are not limited to Board of Visitors meeting minutes, President's correspondence, research final reports and accreditation records. These records cannot be placed in any repository other than the University Archives.

    Records Custody Transfer (also known as an ODU RM-1 Form) - The document authorizing transfer of inactive records to an onsite ODU storage facility, a commercial records storage facility, or the University Archives.

    Records Management Program - A planned, coordinated set of policies, procedures, and activities needed to manage the University's recorded information. The program encompasses the creation, distribution and use, maintenance and storage, and disposition of records, regardless of media. Essential elements include issuing up-to-date program policies and standards, properly training individuals responsible for implementation, publicizing the program, and carefully evaluating the results to ensure adequacy, effectiveness, and efficiency.

    Records Management Steering Committee - Provides overall guidance and direction to the University's Records Management Program.

    Records Retention and Disposition Schedule - A listing of records series, approved by the Library of Virginia, that provides retention and disposition instructions for University records.

    Reference Copy - Also known as a convenience copy, any copy of an official record created for the purpose of reference or research. If a convenience copy is maintained after the official record has been destroyed, the convenience copy becomes the official record.

    Transitory Information - Records of temporary usefulness that do not document, support, or arise from University business processes. Examples include departmental social invitations to luncheons, showers, etc., unsolicited advertisements and memoranda of transmittal that add nothing of substance.

    University Archives - The unit within Special Collections and University Archives, Perry Library, responsible for the appraisal, preservation of, and access to historical records of Old Dominion University.

    University Records - Recorded information that documents a transaction or activity by or with any appointed Board member, officer, or employee of the University. Regardless of physical form or characteristic, the recorded information is a University record if it is produced, collected, received or retained in pursuance of law or in connection with the transaction of University business. The medium upon which such information is recorded has no bearing on the determination of whether the recording is a University record. University records include but are not limited to personnel records, student records, academic records, research records, financial records, patient records and administrative records. Record formats/media include but are not limited to email, electronic databases, electronic files, paper, audio, video and images (photographs).

    University Records Manager - An official appointed by the Vice President for Administration and Finance who is responsible for providing standards, procedures, training and guidance to meet requirements for the proper management of University records. This individual is also designated the "Agency Records Officer" for Library of Virginia purposes.

  4. Scope

    This policy applies to all employees of the University. Employees include all staff, administrators, faculty, full- or part-time, and classified or non-classified persons who are paid by the University. This policy does not apply to employees of affiliated organizations who are paid through the University.

  5. Policy Statement

    The University requires that its records be maintained in a consistent and logical manner consistent with applicable law.

    The University's Records Management Program is guided by a set of professional records management standards, best practices, and legal and regulatory requirements and complies with the Virginia Public Records Act.

    Records created or received during the normal course of University business are the property of Old Dominion University and all employees are responsible for ensuring that records are managed in accordance with the University Record Management Program and in compliance with applicable Federal and State laws.

    The Records Management Program is administered by the University Records Manager. The University Records Manager is assisted by a Records Management Steering Committee consisting of individuals who are primary stakeholders of University records.

    Key components of the University Records Management Program include:

    • Policies and standards that comply with the Virginia Public Records Act and Library of Virginia guidelines.
    • Training and awareness opportunities for employees who are responsible for maintaining records in their possession.
    • Maintaining University records so they are accessible throughout their lifecycle.
    • Preserving records that are subject to audits or litigation, both potential and pending.
    • Disposing of records by appropriate methods in accordance with the Records Retention and Disposition Schedules.
    • Transferring records that are inactive by submitting them to Facilities Management, as approved by the Records Manager, for onsite storage or an offsite location approved by the University Records Manager when they are no longer needed for business use but must be kept until their scheduled retention period expires.
    • Transferring records that have historical and archival value by submitting them to Special Collections and University Archives in Perry Library when they are no longer needed for business use.
    • Conducting periodic audits to ensure policies and standards are being met.
  6. Procedures

    1. Responsibilities

      1. Vice President for Administration and Finance

        1. Appoints the University Records Manager.

        2. Appoints the Records Management Steering Committee upon the recommendation of the University Records Manager.

        3. Provides necessary support and resources to the University Records Manager in the development and implementation of the University's Records Management Program.

      2. Records Management Steering Committee

        1. Meets with the University Records Manager on a regular basis to provide guidance on issues impacting the University's Records Management Program.

      3. University Records Manager

        1. Oversees and directs University Records Management Program.

        2. Trains and maintains communication with Department Records Coordinators; develops guidelines, procedures, presentations and tools to assist Department Records Coordinators in their duties.

        3. Undertakes periodic assessments of departmental records management activities, and reports on the same.

        4. Authorizes requests for destruction of University records by approving RM-3 forms.

        5. Provides approval for all offsite storage locations for university physical records.

        6. Coordinates with the University Archivists transfer of historical/archival records to the University Archives as required by Library of Virginia records retention and disposition schedules.

        7. Works with appropriate units to ensure that holds on destruction of University records due to litigation, audit investigation or FOIA requests are observed.

        8. Advises senior management and Budget Unit Directors on records issues within their departments.

      4. University Archivist

        1. Works with Department Records Coordinators on scheduled transfers of historial records to the University Archives.

        2. Determines the historical value of select records that ordinarily are scheduled for destruction, but may be of enduring value to the University and advises departments of the same.

      5. Department, Academic Unit, School, or Budget Unit Directors (BUDs)

        1. Appoints one or more Department Records Coordinators for their respective areas and notifies the University Records Manager when coordinators change.

        2. Supports the University Records Manager/Department Records Coordinator in the development and implementation of the Records Management Program within their respective business unit.

        3. Determines what records they are required to retain in accordance with this policy and the Records Retention and Disposition Schedules.

        4. Ensures that staff understand their responsibilities and properly manage their records under the Records Management Program.

      6. Department Records Coordinators

        1. Serve as an information conduit between the University Records Manager and their respective departments.

        2. Meet with individuals and groups to promote awareness of and compliance with the Records Management Program.

        3. Coordinate the disposal of records within their offices.

      7. All Employees

        1. Comply with retention and disposition instructions in the Records Retention and Disposition Schedules approved by the Library of Virginia.

        2. Store electronic records in accordance with the University's Data Administration Policy and associated standards as well as guidelines from the University Records Manager for management and authenticity.

        3. Destroy University records once the retention period has expired. A Certificate of Records Destruction (RM3) Form should be submitted and approved by the University Records Manager as required by the Virginia Public Records Act before destruction. Reference copies and transitory information do not require the submittal of an RM-3 form prior to disposal.

          Records with "identifying information" must be disposed of within six months of the expiration of their retention period. Identifying information includes the following categories:

          • Social security numbers;
          • Driver's license numbers;
          • Bank account numbers;
          • Credit or debit card numbers;
          • Personal identification numbers (PIN);
          • Electronic identification codes;
          • Automated or electronic signatures or passwords;
          • Any other numbers or information that can be used to access a person's financial resources, obtain identification, act as identification, or obtain goods or services.

          Information in confidential or privacy-protected records is protected from unauthorized disclosure through the ultimate destruction of the information. Destruction of confidential or privacy-protected paper records will be done by shredding, pulping, or incineration. Electronic records must be overwritten with meaningless data or the storage media must be physically destroyed.

          Records containing public information can be recycled or disposed of in the trash.

    2. Electronic Mail

      ODU's Electronic mail (e-mail) policy is to retain messages only as long as necessary for business purposes, unless they are required to be retained by the Library of Virginia. E-mails are automatically deleted after a specific period unless they are moved to "Managed Folders" that have pre-assigned retention periods. Messages do not require completion of an RM-3 form as deletion and/or preservation is controlled by Information Technology Services. RM-1 forms to transfer records considered to be historical are completed by Departmental Records Coordinators.

    3. Electronic Images

      Hard copy records may be converted to electronic images (preferably TIFF or PDF) as long they are accurate copies of the original records in conformity with ITS Standard 11.6.0, University Source Document Imaging Standard. The electronic image becomes the official document for legal purposes and has the force of the original for audit, legal, FOIA and other related requirements. Destruction of the original hard copy record does not need to be authorized with an RM-3 Form. The University Records Manager should be consulted before initiating any large conversion effort.

    4. Historical/Archival University Records

      Records designated with historical/ archival value, as listed in the Records Retention and Disposition Schedules, or determined to be so by the University Archivist must be transferred to the University Library's Archive/Special Collections, and accompanied by a completed ODU RM-1 Form.

    5. Audits, Court Orders, Investigations and Freedom of Information Act Requests

      Retain all records requested or placed on hold by internal offices (such as University Counsel, University Auditor, University Registrar, designated FOIA Officer, etc.) until cleared by the office placing the hold, regardless of retention requirements. Offices placing holds or requests for University records should copy the University Records Manager on all notices.

    6. Storage of Regulated or Confidential Information

      For electronic records and data in general, ODU follows the requirements of Information Technology Services Standard 02.3.0, Data Administration and Classification Standard.

    7. Affiliated Organizations

      While affiliated organizations are not subject to the Virginia Public Records Act, they are strongly advised to follow best practices for records management. Affiliated organizations may use consulting services provided by the University Records Manager. Affiliated organizations are separate entities that exist for the benefit of the University and include the Foundations, the Community Development Corporation, and the Alumni Association.

    8. Certain Federal grant records may be required to be treated as University records and subject to the Virginia Public Records Act.

    9. Other records management specific procedures are maintained internally and may be available to relevant parties upon request to the University Records Manager.

    Questions or concerns related to the application of this policy should be directed to the University Records Manager. The University Records Manager may consult with the Library of Virginia, as appropriate, to determine application of the records retention schedules to specific University records.

  7. Records Retention

    Applicable records must be retained and then destroyed in accordance with the Commonwealth's Records Retention Schedules.

  8. Responsible Officer

    University Records Manager

  9. Related Information

    Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

    Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

    Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (2014)

    Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Code of Virginia Section 2.2-3700 et seq., as amended

    Code of Virginia Section 2.2-3704.2, as amended - Public bodies to designate FOIA officer

    Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure, Code of Virginia Section 8.01-285 et seq., as amended

    Virginia Civil Remedies and Procedures; Evidence, Code of Virginia Section 8.01-385 et seq., as amended

    ISO 15489-1:2016 Information and Documentation — Records Management

    Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles®

    Board of Visitors Policy 1424 - Policy on Intellectual Property

    University Policy 3504 - Data Classification Policy

    University Policy 3505 - Information Technology Security Policy

    University Policy 3506 - Electronic Messaging Policy for Official University Communication

    University Policy 4100 - Student Record Policy

    Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - Rights and Responsibilities

    Information Technology Standard 02.3.0 - Data Administration and Classification Standard

    Information Technology Standard 11.6.0 - University Source Document Imaging Standard

Policy History

Policy Formulation Committee (PFC) & Responsible Officer Approval to Proceed:

/s/ G. Mark Walsh
Responsible Officer
May 28, 2019

Policy Review Committee (PRC) Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Donna W. Meeks
Chair, Policy Review Committee (PRC)
February 26, 2019

Executive Policy Review Committee (EPRC) Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Gregory DuBois
Responsible Oversight Executive
July 25, 2019

University Counsel Approval to Proceed:

/s/ R. Earl Nance
University Counsel
July 31, 2019

Presidential Approval:

/s/ John R. Broderick
August 1, 2019

Previous Revisions

November 7, 1990; August 1, 1991; June 18, 2013; August 1, 2019

Scheduled Review Date

July 31, 2024

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