University Archives and Records*

Applies to: Regular Faculty and Staff
  1. Policy

    For the purposes of this policy, “university records” are defined as all records, regardless of their form, prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by administrators, faculty acting in administrative capacities, and staff of university units in the performance of an official function.

    1. Executive officers and staff of central administrative offices, deans, other administrators, and staff of the respective colleges and schools, and departmental, center, institute, library, museum, and program administrators and staff create and maintain university records in the course of their duties. It is the responsibility of all such administrators and staff, in cooperation with the Bentley Historical Library’s University Archives and Records Program, to ensure that these records are activities of the university community are transferred to the archives for retention.
    2. The retention and disposition of records generated by university units shall comply with procedures outlined in the University Archives and Records Program Manual and in the Standard Practice Guide.
    3. University records are public records and once fully processed are generally open to research use. Specific records that contain personally identifiable information may be closed to protect individual privacy. The closure of university records is subject to compliance with applicable laws.
    4. In compliance with applicable laws and university policy, the Bentley Historical Library is authorized by the Regents of the University of Michigan to apply open licenses intended to support broader access (such as Creative Commons licenses) to any university record that has been in existence for at least 10 years.
      1. This authorization is limited to records where (1) the record was authored by employees of a university unit, and (2) the Regents of the University of Michigan hold copyright in the record, and (3) the record does not contain any confidential, private, or privileged information or third-party intellectual property.
      2. When the university unit most closely associated with the creation of a university record (or a successor unit) is still in existence, the Bentley Historical Library will notify that unit of its intent to license the records. The unit, at its own discretion, will have 90 days to identify any records to which a license should not be applied.
      3. In order to implement this policy, designated employees of the Bentley Historical Library shall be delegated appropriate signature authority, in accordance with SPG 601.24.

* This policy is not to be used in interpreting University’s obligations under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or any other laws. Questions concerning the application of these laws should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel.


This policy was updated in July 2022 to add Section D, which addresses the authority of the Bentley Historical Library.

This policy was reviewed in September 2015.  No changes were made.

SPG Number
Date Issued
Last Updated
Next Review Date
Applies To
Regular Faculty and Staff
Office of the President
Primary Contact
Office of the President