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Welcome to the records management program at Chicago State University

All University employees are required to maintain university records for minimum time periods stipulated by the State University Records Retention Schedule. In order to destroy records, employees must submit information to the University Records Manager, including the name of the records as found in the retention schedule.

Quick guide to schedules and certificates

Records Management Services

Located in the Chicago State University Library Room 332 Records Management Services manages and oversees University compliance with state and federal laws and regulations relating to the preservation and destruction of electronic and paper information.
The program is the legal authority, designated by the University and by the State of Illinois, to determine how long electronic and paper records and information must be retained. The office is responsible for developing Records Retention Schedules that identify records created or received by the University and specify how long those records must be retained. It is responsible for establishing standards, relating to University business requirements and needs, which ensure the legal legitimacy of University record-keeping systems. The program counsels and advises the University administration on the implementation of policy and procedure which promotes adherence to these standards and minimizes risk. It provides a wide range of services which are designed to help ensure the University is meeting its record-keeping responsibilities.

Definition of a record

Record—Public records are defined as: “any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business—prepared, owned, used, received, or retained by a public agency, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, Photostatted, photographed, or recorded by any other method.”

Non-Record—The above definition is very broad. The physical characteristics of non-record materials are the same as record materials.

The differences between a non-record and a record are the reasons for keeping the information and how the information is used. Now, more and more information is kept in a non-paper format. When you examine the records kept by an office, you may find that information is kept in machine-readable format as well as hard copy.

Making a distinction

You will have to make the distinction between the record and the non-record copy.

The (non-record) examples listed below can be used to distinguish records from non-record items:

  1. Extra copies kept only for convenience.
  2. Informational copies of correspondence and other papers on which no documented administrative action is taken.
  3. Duplicate copies of documents maintained in the same file.
  4. Requests from the public for basic information such as manuals and forms that do not have any administrative retention requirements.
  5. Transmittal letters that do not add information to that contained in the transmitted material.
  6. Reproduced or published material received from other offices which requires no action and is not required for documentary purposes. The originating agency is required to maintain the record copy.
  7. Catalogs, trade journals, and other publications or papers received which require no action and are not part of a case upon which foreseeable action will be taken.
  8. Library or museum material collected for informational or exhibition purposes.
  9. Stocks of publications, forms, or other printed documents which become obsolete or outdated due to revision. The originating agency should maintain a record copy.
  10. Working papers, preliminary drafts, or other material summarized in final or other form and which have no value once action has been taken.

What is a university record?

University records include information, regardless of physical form or characteristics that have been created or received by the Chicago State University. These records may include: correspondence, reports, studies, data, maps, drawings, photographs, email, audio and visual recordings, administrative logs or other documents whether on paper, computer (magnetic tape, disk, or hard drive), film or other media.

University records are public records and may not be destroyed, transferred to the University Records Center, or transferred to the University Archives without an official retention period approved by the State Records Committee.
However, please note that records pertaining to ongoing or pending audits or judicial or public disclosure proceedings must not be destroyed until the issue is resolved.

Record series—A group of similar or related records that are normally used and filed as a unit and can be evaluated as a unit for determining the record retention period. All of the records that make up a record series must have the same retention periods. You cannot break up a record series into individual records and give each record a different retention period.

Records Retention Schedule—A comprehensive list of record series which indicates for each series the length of time it is to be maintained until it is reviewed for destruction or archival retention. It also indicates retention in active and inactive storage areas.

Disposition of State Records

State records may only be disposed of after the approved retention period has expired and the completed Disposal request authorization form has been signed and returned to the responsible University office.

What is my responsibility for university records?

Each University office has primary legal responsibility for the proper care and management of its records.

To meet this responsibility each office should designate a Records Authority and a Records Coordinator. The same person may fill both positions.
The Records Authority has final approval for both the disposition of records and for departmental retention schedules. The Records Coordinator administers all day-to-day transactions associated with the office's records-related functions. This can include files organization and maintenance, implementation of retention schedules, inactive records storage, and records destruction. The Records Coordinator also acts as liaison with University Records Management Services.

What services are available to help me?

The following free services are provided to University offices:

  • Management of Electronic Records
  • Development of Records Retention Schedule
  • Training / Workshops
  • Assistance with Vital Records Identification, Protection, and Recovery.
  • File Management- Electronic and Paper

If you have questions, do not hesitate to email the University Archives or telephone

  • (773) 995-2246 - General Office
  • (773) 821-2817 - Records Section

For information about local and state records: