Cornell University Electronic Student
Records Systems Project Report
return to index
There are many issues pertaining to the preservation of student
records that archivists and records managers should consider. In addition to
the specific recommendations presented sections 2 through 5 above, here are
some general considerations and recommendations:
- AACRAO is actively working on many issues that support or have an impact
on records management and archival requirements. Organizations such as the
Society of American Archivists and ARMA International, as well as individual
and consortia of universities have a demonstrated interest in student records.
Active collaboration and coordination would be beneficial to both groups
- Rather than allowing the status of student records as a vital record to
separate archivists from long-term issues as it seems to have, particularly
for electronic student records, they should capitalize on that status and
clearly identify their role in long-term access to the records. For example,
they should actively participate in the implementation of records retention
schedules that cover student records and in the creation and maintenance of
Business Continuity Plans to protect student records. The New York State Archives
Building Partnerships project confirmed that organizations protect their vital
records for as long as the records are needed and identified beneficial partnerships
that should be established to insure that records are preserved. The relationship
with the Registrar is one key partnership. Others that will provide long-term
support preservation management are equally important.
- With the increasing number of international students and increasing collaboration
between universities in different countries, universities and the professional
groups mentioned above should formalize cooperative efforts and more actively
consider international recordkeeping issues. There are similarities and differences
that should be utilized and documented. There are many opportunities for shared
There are also a number of potential student records research projects and
initiatives that universities should consider, including:
- Collection of representative examples of student records case studies that
document the organizational setting and to the preservation strategy selected.
- Development of a preservation evaluation checklist for student records systems.
It could build upon Appendix G, Student Records Self-Assessment and AACRAO's
self-audit. Minnesota's Trusted Information Systems (TIS) manual and other
approaches could be evaluated and adapted ( see Appendix F, Relevant Research)
- Development of collaborative projects on course documentation and the impact
of technology on those records.
- Establishment of a preservation cooperative for student records supported
by consortia of universities. Such a cooperative could provide advice, relevant
scenarios, preservation strategies and tools, etc.
As previously stated, if universities have not yet had to address electronic
records, they soon will and now is the time to get started. Universities should
at least start gathering information on current and planned student records