VCU branded angle-motif letterhead

University Archives

  • Responsible Office: VCU Libraries, Office of the Provost
  • Current Approved Version: 05/08/2019
  • Policy Type: Administrative

Policy Statement and Purpose

The University Archives upholds the university’s legal responsibility to the commonwealth and its citizens as outlined in the Virginia Public Records Act to identify, retain, and preserve university records that must be held in perpetuity. It also retains university records that are of enduring administrative, legal, fiscal or historical value for the university and the commonwealth.

The University Archives resides within the VCU Libraries and is the official repository for archival records. This policy provides the framework for the University Archives program at VCU. It establishes the authority of the University Archives, provides a definition of archival records, and sets procedures for appraisal, transfer, and control of archival records.

Noncompliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. VCU supports an environment free from retaliation. Retaliation against any employee who brings forth a good faith concern, asks a clarifying question, or participates in an investigation is prohibited.

Who Should Know This Policy

Unit administrators, faculty, and employees who are accountable for complying with the Virginia Public Records Act are responsible for knowing this policy and familiarizing themselves with its contents and provisions.

Definitions

Archival Records

University records that have enduring administrative, legal, fiscal, or historical value are designated archival records by the University Archives or are specified through disposition instruction set forth in the Records Retention and Disposition Schedules of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Examples of archival records may include but are not limited to: board of visitor meeting minutes, president’s correspondence, university relations media, publications, and student organization records.

Records Appraisal (“Appraisal”)

The process of determining the archival value of records based upon their current administrative, legal, and fiscal use; their evidential, information, or research value; their arrangement; and their relationship to other records.

Records Disposition (“Disposition”)

Final destruction or transfer of records to the University Archives.

Records Retention and Disposition Schedule

The records retention and disposition schedule is a listing of the actions to be taken on a records series – a group of similar records that are arranged according to a filing system and that are related as a result of being created, received, or used in the same activity. The listing of actions could entail destruction, reformatting, transfer, or permanent retention at a specified time as authorized by the Library of Virginia.

University Archives

University Archives refers to the official repository for archival records and the program through which such records are acquired, promoted, and made available for use. VCU Libraries is the designated repository for archival records and the administrative unit that operates the University Archives program.

University Archivist

An individual appointed by VCU Libraries with responsibility for the management and oversight of the University Archives program. The university archivist is responsible for appraising, acquiring, arranging, describing, preserving, and providing access to records of enduring value, according to archival principles and the Virginia Public Records Act.

University Records

University records are public records as defined by Code of Virginia § 42.1-77. University records are recorded information that document 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 university business or in compliance with federal and state statutes and regulations. University records include but are not limited to: publications, personnel records, student 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 photographs.

Contacts

VCU Libraries officially interprets this policy and is responsible for obtaining approval for any revisions as required by the policy Creating and Maintaining Policies and Procedures through the appropriate governance structures. VCU Libraries generally delegates this authority to the university archivist. Please direct policy questions to the university archivist.

Policy Specifics and Procedures

  1. Appraisal of University Records
    • University archivist consults with the university records officer regarding retention and disposition instructions for archival records in accordance with the Records Retention and Disposition Schedules approved by the Library of Virginia.
    • University archivist appraises all records not explicitly covered in the Records Retention and Disposition Schedules.
    • University archivist appraises all records created before 1975.
    • Review processes for appraisal and disposition decisions include surveys, inventories, inspections, and record analyses.
    • Appraisal and disposition decisions for archival records are communicated to appropriate university administrators, faculty, and employees.
  2. Transfer of Archival Records
    • University Archives has the authority to negotiate for the transfer of archival records from all university units.
    • University administrators, faculty, and employees are responsible for the timely and systematic transfer of archival records to the University Archives.
    • University Archives facilitates and coordinates the transfer of archival records in collaboration with unit administrators, faculty and employees.
    • Archival records may not be stored outside of the unit of origin or the University Archives. 3. Control of University Archives.
  3. Control of University Archives
    • University Archives has the authority to assume custody of confidential archival records.
    • University Archives manages and provides access to archival records according to professional standards and federal and state statutes and regulations, and in collaboration with unit administrators, faculty, and employees.
    • University archivist provides guidance, information, and procedures related to the transfer, management, and use of archival records.

Forms

There are no forms associated with this policy and procedures.

Related Documents

  1. Virginia Public Records Act (Chapter 7 of Title 42.1, Code of Virginia §42.1-76)
  2. Library of Virginia Records Retention and Disposition Schedules
  3. VCU Policy: Records Management
  4. VCU Policy: Research Data Ownership, Retention, Access, and Security
  5. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act FERPA (20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 CFR Part 99)
  6. Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (Chapter of Title 2.2 Code of Virginia §2.2-3800
  7. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act HIPAA (110 Stat. 1936)
  8. Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Chapter 37 of Title 2.2, Code of Virginia §2.2-3700)

Revision History

This policy supersedes the following archived policies:

Approval/Revision DateTitle
Initial Approval: 05/08/2014 University Archives

FAQ

There are no FAQ associated with this policy and procedures.