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Records Management

What is Records Management?

Records Management is a system to control the creation, organization, use, retention, disposal, and selective preservation of public records. For South Carolina State Institutions, such as Coastal Carolina University, Records Management ensures that administrative and academic records are maintained and destroyed in accordance with the South Carolina Public Records Act of 1973, as amended in 1990.

What Constitutes a Public Record?

According to the South Carolina Public Records Act and Freedom of Information Act, public records are defined as "all books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings, or other documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body." This broad definition includes materials such as paper, microfilm, electronic records (such as computer disk), maps, photographs, films, sound recording, etc.

Why Records Management?

All government agencies in South Carolina are required by law to maintain a records management program in compliance with S.C. Department of Archives and History guidelines. Beyond setting a standard for the storage, retention, disposal, selective preservation and permanent retention of records, records management programs increase institutional effectiveness by facilitating:

  • quick and easy information retrieval;

  • efficient use of office space and equipment;

  • protection and preservation of permanent, confidential and vital records;

  • proper documentation of the disposition of records that may be required for audits, investigations, or lawsuits; and economic use of capital.

Records Management at Coastal Carolina University

As a State Agency of South Carolina, Coastal Carolina University is required to create, maintain, and properly preserve or dispose of records that document University policies, procedures, functions and decisions. At Coastal, these responsibilities fall under the supervision of the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Analysis.

As the administrative body of University Records Management, the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Analysis:

  • oversees University adherence to approved records management policies and procedures in order to ensure compliance with the South Carolina Public Records Act;

  • monitors established retention and disposition schedules;

  • assists departments and administrative offices in identifying and standardizing records retention/disposition practices;

  • and promotes a systematic and uniform disposition of the University's vital records.