Melinda Isler, Archivist
1010 Campus Drive
Big Rapids MI 49307
These are the policies and procedures governing records management at Ferris State University. These provide more in-depth answers to some of the topic discussed in the Records Management FAQ page, as well as some additional topics.
University records are those created by staff during the course of University business. For faculty, records created as part of an administrative function such as department head or chair, are considered university records and are governed by the appropriate records retention schedule. Lecture notes, research documents, presentations and service records (although of potential historical value) are considered the personal property of the faculty member and are not university records. Individuals leaving the university are required to leave all university records for their successors.
when an individual leaves, offices should transfer records to the University Archives or Inactive Records Center in accordance with records retention schedules. If the office has no records retention schedule, the office should contact the University Archivist immediately prior to or after the employees departure. new employees in the position should contact the UARMP for training on using records retention schedules.
Personal papers of faculty, staff and organizations associated with the university may be considered for placement in the university Archives in accordance with terms agreed upon by the University Archivist and the owner of the material, through legal donation.
All materials transferred or donated to the University Archives will be considered the property of the University.
Before transferring records to the Archives, a records survey of the entire office is strongly advised by the University Archives and Records Management Program. General information on the records survey may be found in the records survey section.
Records must be transferred in standard one cubic foot boxes, preferably acidfree. The UARMP has a limited supply of boxes, which may be requested for the transfer of records to either the archives or inactive records center. Boxes must have lids. DO NOT USE BANKERS BOXES, WHICH ARE DESIGNED TO HOLD THE CONTENT OF AN ENTIRE FILE DRAWER. Usually, approximately 2/3 of a file drawer will fit into a one cubicfoot box.
*Upon receipt, the University Archives and Records Management Program staff will assign an accession number to each group of materials. This number will consist of three parts: the initials of the Records Center(RC), the year of accession, and the number of the accession as it is received in consecutive order for that year. For example, the 18th accession received in 2002 will have an accession number RC200218. The originating office will receive notification of receipt of the material in the form of a copy of the inventory with accession number. Keep receipts on file for later retrieval of material. Archival boxes will not have numbers.
The University Archives has a budget which allows them to provide appropriate boxes for departments that are transferring records either to the Inactive Records Center or the University Archives. These boxes are not available for storage of university records within the offices or for moving projects.
Reviewed and approved by the FLITE Interim Dean, Leah Monger. November 2011.
Not all records are of archival nature and indeed should not be retained past their scheduled retention. In order to protect the University and individuals involved, records not scheduled for permanent retention that contain private or sensitive material must be destroyed. Generally, records which contain personal information such as birth dates, social security numbers, bank account numbers and other items require confidential destruction. State law requires that a copy of certification be filed every time a destruction occurs. Certification is not necessary for nonrecords.
Records retention schedules are one of the core documents of a records management system. These schedules detail the life cycle of a record. They identify the record series and prescribe how long series must be maintained, as well as their ultimate disposition of either destruction or preservation.
Retention schedules must be approved by the State of Michigan. A general records schedule has been approved by the state and is included in the appendix of this manual. It contains descriptions of many common types of records in the University. This schedule is not intended to cover records that might be unique to a department or office. Special schedules for such records are developed in cooperation with the University Archives and Records Management Program and offices during the survey process and will be added to the manual at a later date. Office retention schedules are reviewed annually.
To read the retention schedules, work from left to right. The first column entitled “Record Series/Description” is a brief title that captures the function of the record (i.e. Correspondence or Publication.”), and a paragraph detailing the types of records commonly found. This list does not need to be allinclusive. Record series titles are created by the department and archivist, and will be as consistent as possible across University offices. Column 2, or “Department Retention” details the estimated highreference usage for the records. The third column “Records Center Retention” identifies legal requirements for keeping records that may no longer be frequently used. The fourth column, “Archives” describes the ultimate disposition of the records that have some historical information. Not all of these records may be kept permanently, but they must be reviewed by the University Archives and Records Management Program prior to destruction. Other records, such as receipts and bookkeeping documentation may say “Destroy.” These records are not permanent and should be transferred to the records center for destruction. NO RECORDS MAY BE DESTROYED WITHOUT PROPER CERTIFICATION.(See Destruction of Records.) Nonrecords as detailed in the retention schedule, may be destroyed in offices without certification. If there are any questions of what constitutes a record, and whether certification is needed, contact the University Archives.
The Ferris State University Records Management business policy, approved in 2010, is available as part of the business policies page.
Records placed into the inactive records center are available to the originating office upon request. All requests from other offices must be approved by the originating office before the records will be retrieved.
There are two ways in which to review records. The first is to come visit the reading room for the University Archives and review materials. If a particular item needs to be "loaned" back to the office, that may be arranged.
For requests of one box or less, requests can be made to archival staff to have the materials delivered to the office. Records are usually delivered within 48 hours.