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Image: Photograph of Classroom building with four men holding a blueprint, University of Wyoming campus, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Hitchcock and Hitchcock Records, Coll. 09921.
Types of Records
The University of Wyoming Archives preserves significant official records documenting the history and activities of the institution and its schools, departments, programs, and offices. Because of the vast amount of records (in both paper and electronic form) that is created at an institution of this size and the content of the information contained in those records, only a small percentage of records can be preserved. Accordingly, some general guidelines have been established to ensure that records of importance are preserved, but not records of short-term importance.
The following types of non-current, inactive records are commonly transferred to the University Archives:
- Constitution and by-laws, minutes and proceedings, and list of officers of University Board of Trustees from their office of origin.
- Office Files: correspondence and memoranda (including e-mail) of a school's or department's principal administrators relating to the policies, curriculum development, and operations of that unit.
- Reports, such as annual reports, accreditation reports, self-studies, planning documents, and reports on special topics.
- Proposals for new programs and facilities, and planning documents.
- Publications such as bulletins, course schedules, newsletters, programs, and promotional literature.
- Minutes of meetings with accompanying reports and documents.
- Organizational charts.
- A representative sample of photographs and audio-visual records relating to the activities of the unit and its personnel.
The following types of records can be discarded when they are no longer administratively or legally required:
- Office copies of student and personnel records, including faculty dossiers, annual evaluations, promotion and tenure files, and search committee files. NOTE: These records are convenience copies of administrators and not the official University personnel file.
- Routine financial and administrative records, such as requisitions, travel expenses vouchers, payroll time sheets, accounting reports, etc.
- Drafts of most reports and correspondence (Exceptions: for major planning documents, save preliminary discussion documents, background reports which served as the basis for different sections, and drafts which contain substantive differences from the final versions.)
- Routine acknowledgments, circulars, notifications, requests, and transmittals.
- Multiple copies of a single document.
- Blank forms.
- Convenience copies of publications, reports, memos, etc., for which your office was not the originator or the office of record.
- Copies of widely circulated documents such as Trustee minutes; Faculty Senate minutes; memoranda to Deans, Directors, and Department Heads; procedure manuals, and memoranda to all faculty unless your office is the office of origin for the document.
- External publications (external to the department/unit).
Records management is a systematic plan for creating, organizing, using, disposing, and preserving records. It ensures that information is available quickly and efficiently. It encompasses all records regardless of media format. Deciding which records have permanent value, and should be retained, and which records have temporary value, and should be eventually destroyed, is the primary goal in a records management program.
The University of Wyoming and its records are governed by three Wyoming Statutes:
- Wyoming Statute 9-2-401 (a) (v) defines "public record" to include the original and all copies of any paper, correspondence, form, etc., or other document, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which have been made or received in transacting public businesses by the state, a political sub-division, or an agency of the state.
- Wyoming Statute 9-2-409: "Each department or agency of the state government shall designate a records officer who shall supervise the departmental records program and who shall represent the office in all departmental matters before the records committee. The records officer and the director shall prepare transfer schedules for the transfer of public records to the records centers or to the archives.
- Wyoming Statute 9-2-410: "All public records are property of the state. They shall be delivered by outgoing officials and employees to their successors and shall be preserved, stored, transferred, destroyed or disposed of, and otherwise managed, only in accordance with Wyoming Statue 9-2-405 through 9-2-413."
For more information about Records Management, please see the Records Management Manual below.