Records Management

Handbook of Operating Procedures 3-1410

Records Management

University of Texas SealEffective January 30, 2014
Executive Sponsor: Senior Vice President and Chief Financial OfficerPolicy Owner: Records Management Officer
I. Policy Statement 

The University of Texas at Austin (“University”) is committed to the systematic management and retrieval of official University records and appropriate maintenance of a records retention schedule in compliance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

II. Reason for Policy 

To provide structure, responsibilities and procedures for an active and ongoing Records Management Program (RMP) in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, and The University of Texas System ("UT System") UTS115, Records and Information Management.

III. Scope & Audience 

This policy applies to all employees and to all contractors to the University that create, manage, or maintain a state record.

IV. Definitions (specific to this policy) 
Archival State Record:

A state record of enduring value to be preserved on a continuing basis by the University until the University archivist indicates that based on a reappraisal of the record it no longer merits further retention.

Confidential State Record:

A state record to which public access is or may be restricted or denied under Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, or other federal or state law.

Convenience Copy:

Copies of a master record created for convenience, reference, or research. Convenience copies may be in any medium (e.g., electronic or hard copy). See HBP 20.6.2.

Departmental Records Management Contact (DRMC):

University staff designated by the department or unit head to coordinate records management activities for the department. 

Departmental Records Management Plan:

A department’s written plan identifying the types of records it maintains for operation and the retention or disposition of those records in accordance with the University Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS) and University disposition procedures.

Master Record:

The record retained, subject to the University’s records retention schedule and disposition policies. The master record may or may not be the original and may be created or retained in any medium (e.g., electronic or hard copy). Refer to HBP 20.6.1 and State Record definition below.

Records Management:

Application of management techniques to the creation, use, maintenance, retention, preservation, and destruction of University records. The term includes the development of retention schedules, the management of filing and information retrieval systems in any media, and the adequate protection of University records that are confidential, vital, or archival.

Records Management Officer (RMO):

 A University employee appointed by the president to administer the University Records Management Program established under Texas Government Code, Section 441.183.

State Record:

Recorded information created or received in the conduct of official University business. State record includes 1) a record that is created or maintained by the University, and 2) a record that is created, managed, or maintained for the University, and the University owns the information or has a right of access to it (e.g., a state record in the possession of a private contractor to the University). Also referred to as University records, official records, and master records.

Records Management Program (RMP):

A program established on an active and ongoing basis to implement records management controls for University records and recordkeeping systems; identify and protect confidential and vital University records; and cooperate with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for the purposes of improving the efficiency of recordkeeping, ensuring access to public information under Chapter 552, and reducing costs.

University Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS):

A document listing University records and providing retention periods and other information necessary for the operation of an effective records management program. The UTRRS must be recertified triennially by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Transitory Records:

Records of temporary usefulness not an integral part of a records series listed in the UTRRS, nor regularly filed within a University recordkeeping system. This includes records required for a limited time period for completion of an action by an official, or employee, or in the preparation of an on-going records series. Transitory records are not essential to the fulfillment of statutory obligations or to the documentation of agency functions.

University Disposition Log:

Document for recording destruction or archival transfer of official University records that have met retention requirements listed in the UTRRS.

Vital State Record:

A record necessary to the resumption or continuation of University operations in an emergency or disaster, the re-creation of the legal and financial status of the agency, or the protection and fulfillment of obligations to the people of the state. (TGC 441.180(13), TAC § 6.1)

V. Website (for policy)
VI. Contacts 
Contact Details Web
Treasury, Records, & Risk
VII. Responsibilities & Procedures 
  1. General
  1. The records management program (RMP) for the University follows all applicable state laws and UT System policies including UTS115, Records and Information Management.
  1. Master records may be created or retained in paper or electronic formats. When a paper record is imaged in accordance with University procedures the resulting image may be retained as the master record and the paper original disposed as a convenience copy. Refer to HBP Section 20.6.6.
  1. A master record may only be destroyed if
  • there is a retention code certified for the record type in the University records retention schedule (UTRRS).
  • the record has met all retention requirements.
  • any action against the record (e.g., audit, lawsuit, request for public information, etc.) has been resolved.
  1. Institutional Responsibilities

The University is responsible for taking action to:


  1. Establish and maintain a RMP on a continuing and active basis.
  1. Create and maintain records containing adequate and proper documentation of University functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions designed to furnish information to protect the financial and legal rights of the state and any person affected by the activities of the University. Ensure continuity of records and recordkeeping through successions of University presidents.
  1. Assure that electronic state records are maintained in a secure environment for the duration of the period the electronic record must be retained.
  1. Assure that all University records created, managed, or maintained by a private contractor to the University are maintained and accessible to the same extent as if the records were maintained by the University.
  1. Identify and protect confidential and vital state records.
  1. Cooperate with Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), the director and librarian, and other authorized designees of the director in the conduct of state agency records management surveys and other TSLAC state records management program initiatives.
  1. Records Management Officer (RMO) 

The records management officer (RMO) must:


  1. Develop and maintain a UTRRS.
  1. The UTRRS will provide:
  • retention requirements for University records in all formats and media in accordance with the State of Texas Records Retention Schedule (Texas RRS) and other federal, state, and accrediting/regulating requirements, rules, and standards.
  • archival value for records series in accordance with Texas RRS and the guidance of the University archives director.
  1. Submit UTRRS for recertification by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission – State and Local Records Management Division (TSLAC-SLRM) as required.
  1. Submit UTRRS amendments to TSLAC-SLRM for certification as needed.
  1. Identify confidential and vital records series in accordance with Texas RRS and the guidance of University directors, business owners, and subject matter experts.
  1. Provide procedures for University staff to request retention codes for new or undocumented records series, or to make changes to retention codes as needed.
  1. Conduct triennial University-wide survey and review of UTRRS retention codes to ensure they are current, meet legal and regulatory requirements, and accurately map recordkeeping practices.
  1. Provide training, guidance, and information to University staff concerning federal and state records and information management laws, administrative rules, and TSLAC policies.
  1. Develop University policy and procedures for the disposition of University records and maintain oversight on the disposition of those records.

The disposition policy must ensure that:

  • UTRRS retention requirements apply to all official University records, including records created, managed or maintained by a private contractor to the University, and internal authorization processes provide the means to document their destruction or archival transfer in the institutional disposition log.
  • All copies of any records, including official University records meeting retention requirements as well convenience copies and transitory records then in existence, regardless of format, will not be destroyed when litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, public information request, administrative review, or other action involving the records has been initiated. Destruction must not occur until the completion of the action and resolution of all issues that may arise from it.
  • Confidential information, whether in master records, convenience copies, or transitory records, is disposed in a manner that preserves confidentiality.
  1. Maintain the University records disposition log.
  1. Departmental/Unit Level

Each department head/unit manager must:


  1. Designate a departmental records management contact (DRMC) to complete records management training, receive, and disseminate records and information management news and information. 
  1. Conduct a departmental inventory of records created, received, and managed within the department for classification, review and purging, including University records that are created, managed or maintained for the department by a private contractor.  
  1. Develop a departmental records management plan outlining the department’s file plan and records management procedures.
  1. Dispose of records in accordance with the UTRRS, University records disposition procedures and the department’s records management plan.
  1. Assure that contracts with a private contractor that will create, manage, or maintain state records, expressly provide that the contractor will comply with applicable state laws and University policies relating to the management, access, retention and destruction of state records.
  1. Individual Employee

Every University employee is responsible for complying with his or her department’s records management plan. 


  1. Procedures for Records Management

Procedures related to this policy may be found within the University’s Handbook of Business Procedures, Part 20 – Records Management Services.

XI. History 

Last review date: January 30, 2014

     Editorial change made March 15, 2016.

Next scheduled review date: January 2016