What is a Record?
Records are documents created in connection with University transactions as evidence of organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, and other informational activities. Records can include, but are not limited to the following: books, papers, maps, photographs, machine-readable materials, documentary materials, and materials made or received by the University. Listed below are several types of the most commonly found records created at ISU:
- Historical Record: Historic records are those that institutions have determined have significance due to their ability to document the history of the organization.
- Archival Record: An archival record is material determined to have permanent value, due to standards of practice (transcripts), significance (building floorplans), or legal requirements (lawsuits).
- Permanent Record: The Idaho Retention Schedule does not clearly define the retention requirement for most records. The law classifies records as permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary. Permanent records are to be kept for not less than ten years after creation. Semi-permanent records must be kept for five years after creation or completion of the matter for which the record is held. Temporary records do not have a specified period, but is usually less than five (5) years. Temporary records that are subject to audit or are not related to permanent records can be disposed of per approved retention schedules.
- Public Record: Public records include, but are not limited to the following: any writing containing information relating to the conduct and administration of the public's business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics. (Idaho Code, 9-337.12)
- Written Public Writing: Writing includes, but is not limited to the following: handwriting, typewriting, printing, photo- stating, photographing and every means of recording, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums or other documents. (Idaho Code, 9-337.14)
- Education Records: Education records are defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as any record maintained by the institution that is directly related to a student. Education records EXCLUDE the following:
- Personal notes kept in the maker's sole possession
- Certain campus law enforcement records
- Alumni records
- Certain medical records used for treatment purposes only
- Electronic Records: Computer-based records, or electronic records, are the fastest growing type of record in use here at ISU. It is important to note that what the file contains. Since there are many different types of electronic records, contact the Records Manager if you have any questions about what is, or is not, an electronic record.
- Vital Records: A record identified as essential for the continuation or survival of the University if a disaster strikes. Such records are necessary to re-create the organization’s legal and financial status and to determine the rights and obligations of employees, customers, and the public. The vital records program is intended to do two basic things. First, the program provides the University with the information it needs to conduct its business under other than normal operating conditions and to resume normal business afterward. Second, the program enables agency officials to identify and protect the most important records dealing with the legal and financial rights both of the agency and of persons directly affected by University actions.
What is NOT a record?
Non-records include, but are not limited to, the following: duplicate copies of final reports, printouts or copies of permanent files made for reference, distribution copies of a publication, or routing copies of a memo or letter. Material acquired solely for the purpose of reference, that is, copies of other institutions' course catalog, programs from meetings, etc., are also non-records.
Listed below are files often confused with records:
- Reference materials, stocks of publications and brochures, quasi-official notices, unsolicited announcements, invitations, or other materials not filed as evidence of office or University operations.
- Preliminary drafts, worksheets, informal notes that do not represent significant steps in the preparation of record documents.
- Routing slips that contain no information or approvals, used to direct the distribution of papers.
- Extra copies of records in addition to the "official" copies maintained elsewhere, as long as they do not contain additional information.
- Blank forms, templates.
- Tickler, follow up, or suspense copies of correspondence, provided they are extra copies of the originals.
Records series are groups of records, performing a specific function and organized in a succession of like, correlated, or corresponding items, occurrences, or events; also a sequence of things having a progressive order or arrangement. A records series has a common sequence that relates to a particular subject or function, results from the same activity, or documents a specific kind of transaction.
Retention schedules are a listing of records series that indicate the full record series title, function/purpose, location of official record, period of time to retain the record series, as well as the disposition instructions. The schedule maintains the types of records created and used by the University in the course of its business and indicates how long these records are required to be retained.
Laws and Regulations
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
- Patriot Act
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)