HBP Part 20.1. Introduction and Resources

Handbook of Business Procedures

Date published: October 23, 2012
Last revised: February 21, 2022
Issued by: Records and Information Management Services


A. Introduction

The University of Texas at Austin is required to comply with state and federal mandates to establish an active and ongoing records management program. A state (university) record is any recorded information created or received in the course of university business. This includes records created or maintained by the university as well as those created or maintained on behalf of the university by a third-party vendor. No official university record (paper, microform, electronic, or any other media) may be destroyed without following university disposition procedures, developed to comply with Texas Government Code, Title 4, Subtitle D, Chapter 441.180-441.200, Subchapter L. Preservation and Management of State Records and Other Historical Resources and Texas Administrative Code, Title 13, Part 1, Chapter 6. State Records.

The University of Texas Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS) is certified by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and adopted as university policy to:

  • List minimum retention and preservation requirements for all records created in the course of university business
  • Form a basis to authorize the destruction of university records in accordance with procedures developed to comply with state and federal regulations

The university’s Records and Information Management Services (RIMS) provides information, training, and support to the university community in all areas of identifying and retaining official university records. RIMS also provides procedures for and authorizes the disposal of official university records. Departments have a shared responsibility with RIMS to systematically control the records of the university from their creation to their final disposition, whether that is destruction of the record or transfer of the record to archives.

Note: The university is required to document the destruction or transfer to archives of all official records in the university disposition log, which is maintained by RIMS.

Examples of university records include:

  • Correspondence (whether hard copy or email) created, received, or used in the course of university business
  • Reports or other documents generated by departments
  • Human resource documentation, e.g., records created in hiring and managing staff
  • Financial and administrative records, e.g., payment vouchers (payroll, travel, goods, and services); audit and inventory records; departmental budgets; deposits; and records created by other financial processes
  • Academic processes, e.g., student records (grades, commencement, student organizations); faculty records; research
  • Records generated through other university programs, e.g., camps, orientation, RecSports
  • Records created from operational processes, e.g., Facilities Services, The University of Texas at Austin Police Department (UTPD), Parking and Transportation Services (PTS)

The following items are not considered official university records:

  • A stock of publications or blank forms
  • Catalogs or trade journals

B. Overview of Records and Information Management Services Functions

  • Develop and maintain The University of Texas Records Retention Schedule (UTRRS)
  • Develop and provide training to university employees in records management policy and procedure
  • Work with Departmental Records Management Contacts to establish and maintain systematic control of records from creation to final disposition
    • Instruct DRMCs in how to inventory records that are created, used, and retained in the department
    • Assist DRMCs with developing a Records Management Plan
  • Establish procedures for disposing of records in a consistent and routine manner as required by state law
  • Provide guidance for implementing records management controls in automated systems
  • Oversee and authorize disposition of university records
  • Maintain documentation of the disposition of university records in the university disposition log

C. Benefits of a Records Management Program

  • Reduces uncertainty about requirements for disposal of records and allows departments to dispose of unneeded records with confidence
  • Reduces the volume of records that must be stored within the department
  • Reduces the number of records that must be searched when responding to audits, requests for public information, subpoenas, and other administrative requirements
  • Reduces risk of liability associated with retaining records for a longer period than required by law, including:
    • Costs associated with the requirement to produce extremely large volumes of responsive records
    • Inconsistent disposition, which undermines the good faith protection that a well-implemented records management program provides
  • Reduces risks of adverse audit findings or legal rulings for failure to produce required records
  • Ensures compliance with federal and state recordkeeping and records management laws and rules

D. Resources


Part 20. Records Management - Table of Contents