Skip to Content

Institutional Placement Survey -- Records Management and Archival Services Public

Institutional archives and records management programs within higher educational institutions offer a litany of services including vital records identification and management, stewardship of permanent records, capture and storage of electronic/digital records, email management, data management and security, disposition and destruction of records, facilities management including storage annexes and inactive records centers, FERPA, HIPAA, FOIA, and Public Records Act compliance, litigation hold partnership, policy development and management, retention schedule development and oversight, training and educational workshops, and disaster planning. These services and the expectations built therein are often subject to a “struggle to fit” within a myriad of administrative offices in their effort to undertake compliance, retention, disposition, permanence, and disposal of business records. Among the challenges of institutional placement are issues such as failure to thrive, inability to enforce compliance, risk aversion, slow responsiveness to crisis/breach situations, failure to create a cohesive environment and culture, and communication collapse. Administrators need to create opportunities for both records management programs and archival repositories to succeed utilizing sustainable improvement performance metrics, such as the seven element operational excellence management system which includes Leadership, Employee accountability, Management of change, Risk Identification and Control, and Knowledge sharing in an environment of continuous improvement. During the period of July-December 2016, a hybrid methodological research study was undertaken by the author. Phase 1 of the study involved conducting an online quantitative survey. Complete survey results follow this narrative. Phase 2 involved visits to all fifteen Big Ten Academic Alliance universities and conducting a qualitative narrative for each of the institutions based on on-site interviews which addressed the needs, issues, successes and failures for all model operational structures. Each campus was asked to identify a cohort of interviewees including but not limited to representatives from the following offices: Records Management Archival Operations Special Collections Departments University Libraries Administration Office of General Counsel Privacy Operations Risk Management/Internal Audit Public Records Offices Information Technology Operations Business Services Operations including Inactive Records Centers The interviews were held jointly with University Archives staff at each institution to allow for both internal communication and research data collection. Interestingly, these interviews often meant that internal participants were meeting potential partners for the first time. Travels to all Big Ten Universities (14 plus University of Chicago) was structured on the opportunity to review both records management and archival models as they exist in these higher education institutions. The interviews were designed to elicit successes, challenges, and potential opportunities. Lessons learned and recommendations are identified below. Funding was provided by the Nancy Eaton Research Grant and supplemental funding from Penn State University Libraries. The visits also afforded the opportunity to review legislation, structures, employment paradigms, partnerships, and actual processes for public records, archival records, and, in some cases, special collections at these higher education institutions. Detailed bibliography attached. Recommendations and Lessons Learned are included in this narrative section and are being expanded as a series of research articles. A complete list of visits appears within Appendix A.

Collections

This Work is not currently in any collections.