Policy Manual

Records Management Policy

Policy Statement

The Purpose of the Record Management Policy is to (1) establish an efficient University-wide record management system for maintaining, identifying, retrieving, preserving and destroying records, (2) ensure that records are adequately protected, (3) preserve University history, (4) ensure that records that are no longer needed or of no value are destroyed at the appropriate time, and (5) comply with applicable laws and regulations including the Georgia Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-90 et seq.) and to also meet the requirements of accrediting bodies.

Applicability of the Policy

This policy applies to all members of the Georgia College community.


Active Record
A university record that is currently being used in the course of conducting university business.

Custodian of Record
The individual in each department responsible for retaining and timely destroying University Records in compliance with this Policy.

Essential Record/Vital Record
Any record vital to the resumption or continuation of operations, or both; to the re-creation of the legal and financial status of the government in the state; or to the protection and fulfillment of obligations to citizens of the state. (O.C.G.A. 50-18-91(10))

Historical Record
Any university record having historical value of past events.

Inactive Record
A university record that is no longer being used to conduct university business that must be maintained until the end of its record retention period.

Materials created in the conduct of University business and preserved due to the value contained in the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of the University. The format includes but is not limited to paper, electronic, microform (e.g., microfilm, microfiche, magnetic tapes, and CD-ROM), and other mediums.

Record Management Officer
The department representative responsible for maintaining day-to-day records management practices and procedures.

Record Retention Period
The length of time for which the Custodian of Records is responsible for retaining a specified University Record with the Record Retention Schedule.

Record Retention Schedule
The table listed the required Record Retention Period and the designated Custodian of Records for each identified university record established by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

University Record
Any recorded information that is created or received by an applicable member or department in the ordinary course of university business. All university records, regardless of their format, are subject to this policy.

A.  University Records and Record Retention Schedule

Active, inactive, and historical records must be maintained and/or destroyed in accordance with the record retention schedule established by the USG.

The record retention schedule designates the custodian of record for each identified university record. If a record is not found under the record retention schedule, it must be destroyed once it is no longer needed in the course of conducting University business.

Inactive records designated by the USG’s record retention schedule as “Permanent” must be transferred to University Archives for long-term preservation as part of the historical record.

If a record fits two or more categories, the longer period of retention prevails.

B.  Records Management Accountability

The Records Management Officer oversees the implementation of this policy. The officer is available to advise the faculty, staff, and administrators on the proper management and disposition of University records. The officer will also assist the custodian of records of each department in the development and implementation of departmental procedures concerning records management.

The Custodian of Records in each department/office are responsible for creating, implementing and monitoring department/office specific records in accordance with this policy and the USGs Record Retention Schedule.

C. Recordkeeping Responsibilities for Offices and Departments

The Custodian of Records in each department shall also ensure the following:

• Review the types of records in its possession and determine the appropriate format to ensure usability, integrity and accessibility for the length the record is needed according to the record retention schedule.

• Consult with the Records Management Officer regarding the appropriate disposition of records that may be of permanent, historic, or legal value to the University. If it is determined that some of the department/office records should be transferred to Special Collections for archiving, it is each department’s or office’s responsibility to arrange for the transfer of the record.

• Ensure that access to records and systems containing personal identifiable information is in accordance with the Georgia College Information Security Plan.

• Destroy inactive records that have met their authorized retention period in accordance with the USG’s Record Retention Schedule.

• Destroy duplicate records (including duplicate electronic records) upon determining that such records are no longer necessary.

D. Records Use and Storage

All departments and offices must maintain their records in a safe, stable, and secure manner that supports their timely and accurate retrieval with appropriate controls on their accessibility. To do this the custodian of records should:

• Develop filing and classification systems for records that all faculty/staff/students in each department can understand and follow. This system does not need to be complex. It only needs to enable someone to find the appropriate record quickly and efficiently. This system should also ensure of the disposal once the retention date is achieved.

• Know the storage location(s) of all departmental records.

• Store all departmental records in stable environments.

  •   Storage of physical records means keeping them in dry, clean areas that are protected from the elements and have appropriate temperature and humidity controls if necessary.
  •   Storage of digital records means ensuring that electronic records are stored on stable media, encrypted (if necessary), and preserved in readable software formats.

• Ensure the departmental physical and electronic records are secure and meets confidentiality and privacy requirements.

E. Essential Records Emergency Action Plans

Each department should have an emergency action plan in place in the event of a disaster. This action plan will contain what the department essential records are and guidelines on how the staff continue operating in the event of a disaster.

F. Compliance

All departments and offices must ensure that their recordkeeping practices are in compliance with applicable Georgia College policies and external laws and regulations. Also in accordance with the USG’s record retention schedule.

G. Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies and may result in prosecution in accordance with state and federal law.

Creation Date: August 2019
Revision Date: N/A
Last Reviewed Date: N/A
Next Review Date: August 2021
Responsible Department: Office of Legal Affairs
Cabinet Approval Date: September 24, 2019
Effective Date: September 24, 2019