Records Management Policy

Title

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Records Management

Introduction

Purpose

In order to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and University policies, all UNC-Chapel Hill employees, as well as contractors, vendors, volunteers, or any other person or agency creating Records on behalf of the University, must Retain and Dispose of the Records they create or receive as part of their work at UNC-Chapel Hill according to the instructions in the University of North Carolina General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule.

Scope of Applicability

This policy applies to all University employees and UNC-Chapel Hill constituents.

Policy

Policy Statement

The University is committed to responsible Records management in order to preserve the history of the University and to minimize the cost and inefficiency of storing Records beyond their necessary lifespan. The University also takes seriously its responsibility to comply with applicable legal and policy requirements governing Records management.

All University employees and UNC-Chapel Hill constituents are responsible for Records management. Department heads and directors must ensure that the Records in their units are managed according to the University’s Records management policy and standards.

The University of North Carolina General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule (the "Records Schedule”) outlines specific standards for each type of Record created or received by University units. These standards include rules about how long Records need to be Retained, when they can be Disposed of, and the types of Records that must be transferred to the University Archives for permanent Retention.

The University Archives, a department of the University Libraries, is the unit that oversees Records management and Disposition at UNC-Chapel Hill. The University Archives provides training and consultation on Records management issues and is the repository for all Records that are scheduled for permanent Retention.

The State Archives of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, is the Records management and Disposition authority for the State of North Carolina under the North Carolina Archives and History Act (N.C.G.S. 121-4). The State Archives of North Carolina maintains and updates the Records Schedule, which is applicable to all schools in the University of North Carolina System.

Revisions to the Records Schedule will be made as necessary to account for changes to University practices and policies and in order to ensure continued compliance with state and federal laws. The Records Schedule is usually revised annually. The UNC-Chapel Hill University Archives works closely with the State Archives on the annual revision process.

Destruction of Public Records

The University of North Carolina General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule includes instructions for the Destruction of Public Records that no longer need to be Retained according to the Records Schedule. These instructions, located in the Appendix to the Records Schedule, discuss the Destruction of paper and electronic Records, as well as confidential Records. These methods of Destruction are codified in the North Carolina Administrative Code, Title 7, Chapter 4, Subchapter M, Section .0510.

Exceptions

As noted in the Records Schedule, any Records that are subject to a Legal Hold must be preserved and are not eligible for Disposition. The Records Schedule Retention and Disposition requirements would apply again once the Legal Hold has been terminated by the Office of University Counsel.

Definitions

Destruction: The Destruction of Public Records that no longer need to be Retained according to the Records Schedule.

Disposition: The transfer or destruction of Records after they are no longer needed or required to be Retained in the office.

Legal Hold: A direction from the Office of University Counsel instructing the recipient to preserve specified Records. A Legal Hold halts the scheduled Disposition of any Records that are potentially relevant to litigation, investigation, audit, or other official action.

Public Record: N.C. General Statutes Chapter 132, the North Carolina Public Records Act, provides this definition of Public Records: “‘Public record’ or ‘public records’ shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions. Agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions shall mean and include every public office, public officer or official (state or local, elected or appointed), institution, board, commission, bureau, council, department, authority or other unit of government of the State or of any county, unit, special district or other political subdivision of government.”

Records: Any materials, regardless of format, produced by UNC-Chapel Hill employees or constituents in the transaction of University business. For more details, the see the definition of Public Record, above, and N.C. General Statutes Chapter 132, the North Carolina Public Records Act.

Records Schedule: The University of North Carolina General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule is the procedural document that outlines official standards and procedures for the Retention and Disposition of Records at UNC System schools. The Records Schedule is available on the website of the State Archives of North Carolina.

Retention: The act of maintaining Records and ensuring that they are discoverable and accessible, usually for a specified amount of time.

UNC-Chapel Hill Constituents: UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, staff, students, retirees, contractors, distance learners, visiting scholars, and others who require UNC-Chapel Hill resources to work in conjunction with UNC-Chapel Hill.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Standards and Procedures

Contact Information

Policy Contacts

Nicholas Graham, University Archivist
ngraham@email.unc.edu | 919-962-0042

Jessica Venlet, Assistant University Archivist
jvenlet@email.unc.edu | 919-962-4265

Important Dates

Effective Date and title of Approver: May 9, 2017

Details

Article ID: 132181
Created
Thu 4/8/21 9:25 PM
Modified
Thu 7/29/21 10:50 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
06/25/2021 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
University Archivist
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
06/25/2021 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
06/25/2021 12:00 AM
Origination
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
05/09/2017 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
University Archives & Records Management Services