Role of the Head of a Department

The administrative head of each department is responsible for the care and management of its records until their transfer or other disposition through the application of authorized records retention schedules. While in the custody of the department, the records must be handled and made accessible in accordance with mandates of law, requirements of professional organizations, and University policy.

The head of the department complies with the policies and procedures of the Marywood University Records Management and Archives Program.
He or she:

  • appoints him/herself, or one or more members of the department, as Department Records Coordinator(s). One person may act as Records Coordinator for all of the department's records, or each Coordinator may be responsible for one or more records series;
  • notifies the Director of Records Management and Archives of any change in appointment of Department Records Coordinator;
  • participates with the Director of Records Management and Archives and the Department Records Coordinator in conducting the department records survey and inventory;
  • provides the Director of Records Management and Archives with copies or references to laws and professional recommendations or opinions governing the records created or received by the department;
  • reviews drafts of records retention schedules and negotiates any revisions with the Director of Records Management and Archives;
  • authorizes records retention schedules for implementation;
  • reviews and approves the transfer or destruction of records before the action is taken by the Department Records Coordinator;
  • notifies the Director of Records Management and Archives of special circumstances, such as pending litigation or an audit, which require suspending disposition of the affected records until the special circumstances have passed;
  • determines, before a new record is created, that the record merits the costs of time and space needed to maintain it for the duration of its life cycle;
  • ensures uniformity in the form and content of records having primarily historical value (see Records Creation);
  • ensures that records in his or her custody are organized for efficient access;
  • protects records in his or her custody from unauthorized access;
  • requires the proper storage and careful handling of records;
  • implements an approved Vital Records Protection Plan to preserve all vital records in his or her custody (see Vital Records);
  • facilitates the future accessibility of electronic records in his or her custody by ensuring that electronic records are burned onto optical disks-CDs or DVDs-and also copied to the University's administrative server. (The Computer Training and User Support Department provides documentation and a workshop on this simple and critical task.);
  • ensures training of new employees to provide for consistency in records management in the department;
  • contacts the Director of Records Management And Archives to request retention schedules for all records when a new department is created.