Records Management

Wellesley College Records Management Policy

1.0 Introduction and Purpose

Records created by Wellesley College staff and by faculty in their administrative roles as they work to fulfill the College’s educational mission are essential to the efficient operation of the College, to preserve the College’s history, and, in some circumstances, are subject to legal requirements. Proper management of such records is therefore necessary.

The purpose of this document is to:
• establish a records management policy for Wellesley College;
• define key concepts specific to the Wellesley College policy; and
• describe a framework for implementing this policy through a records management program.

2.0 Policy Statement

Wellesley College is committed to meeting its administrative, fiscal, legal, and historical obligations by systematically managing the records created in the course of the College’s academic and administrative operations. The management of records includes appropriate practices for organizing those records, effective archiving of those records determined to have permanent or enduring value, and proper destruction of those records deemed to have no permanent or enduring value once operational needs have been met and no legal considerations require retention.

Implementation of this policy will assist Wellesley College in meeting its operational and legal obligations and in preserving its historical record. Further, the College will benefit from the increased organizational efficiency implementation of this policy will provide.

This policy and relevant materials developed as part of the records management program will be made available to the Wellesley College community for their ongoing reference.

3.0 Scope

This policy applies to all records created at Wellesley College during the course of its educational and other activities. Records created by employees of Wellesley College in the normal course of business, and by faculty in their administrative roles, are the property of Wellesley College.

4.0 Authority and Responsibilities

The President, Officers, and senior administrative staff of the College are responsible for communicating this policy to College employees and have general oversight of this policy.

The Records Management Officer is responsible for developing and administering a records management program for the College, and will help employees understand how to implement that program.

All employees of Wellesley College are responsible for managing and maintaining the records they create in compliance with this policy and the record management program developed by the College.

Definition of “records”

Records are “information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.” (ISO 15489-1:2001(E) Information and Documentation – Records Management Part 1: General, 3.15)

Records are defined by content rather than by format. Records include those that are hard copy, electronic (including web pages), or any other format from which information can be retrieved.

Records include but are not limited to official College publications, fiscal data, official correspondence (including electronic correspondence), minutes of meetings, reports, and student and employee files. For the purposes of this policy, records are defined broadly to encourage consideration of the appropriate use and retention of all information created in the course of business.

Critical Records

“Critical records” are those records determined to contain essential information needed for operational continuity following a catastrophic event. The Records Management Officer will work with others at the College to determine which records are to be considered “critical records,” and to develop procedures that protect them and make them accessible and useable after such an event.

5.0 Policy

5.1 Preserving or Disposing of Official College Records

The Records Management Officer, in consultation with the College’s legal counsel, will work with College offices to develop records retention schedules appropriate to each office’s circumstances.

The Archivist is responsible for determining which College records have permanent or enduring value. Records deemed to be of permanent or enduring value will be transferred to the Wellesley College Archives on a regular basis. Electronic records of permanent or enduring value will be archived in a way that appears best to allow future accessibility of their content. Routine data backup is not a substitute for the archiving of electronic records that have permanent or enduring value.

Records deemed to have no permanent or enduring value will be retained according to records retention schedules, and properly disposed of as described in those schedules once the retention period has ended.

5.2 Other policies

This document supplements the policies for the collection and preservation of vital papers, records, and documents adopted by the Wellesley College Board of Trustees in their authorization of the Wellesley College Archives. Other College policies such as FERPA, or Federal or state regulations may apply to the protection of information in certain records and individuals’ right of access to information about them that are contained in certain records.

Records Management Policy, approved by Board of Trustees April 11, 2008.