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Higher Education - Essential Records

The protection of essential records is one of the most important components of a systematic records management program.

All organizations have certain business operations that they must perform. Such business operations are characterized as mission-critical operations. Essential records are those that contain information that is vital to an organization's mission. If essential records are lost, damaged, destroyed, or otherwise rendered unavailable or unusable, mission critical operations will be curtailed or discontinued, resulting in potentially damaging financial and public relations consequences.

Regardless of their format, i.e., paper or electronic, examples of essential records in higher education include:

  • Student grades and transcripts
  • Student class schedules
  • Student emergency contact information
  • Employee files
  • Employee records
  • Employee emergency contact information
  • Benefits records
  • Medical and health records
  • Insurance files
  • Research records and data
  • Historical documents and charters
  • Contracts and grants
  • Real estate grants and deeds
  • Accounting and payroll records
  • Finance records