Access Policy for University Records

The records of Rutgers, The State University will be made available in accordance with the rules and regulations of Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries. The University is guided in its policy by relevant Federal and State laws. (Relevant laws include: the New Jersey Open Public Meeting,  the New Jersey Right to Know Law, the Federal Family Education and Privacy Rights Act, and the Federal Freedom of Information Act.) Other policies of the University pertaining to its records are implicitly incorporated in this policy.

All of those records required by law to be maintained or publicly available at their inception will be made available in Special Collections and University Archives immediately. All other institutional records will normally remain closed for a period of 20 years from the date of their creation (the date on which each document was written) unless the office of origin has designated a shorter period. (The opening date for files spanning several years will be 20 years from the most recent date. Access will be given to material already 20 years old contained within a collection that is not yet open when such material can be isolated from the rest of the collection). The records that are closed for longer periods are as of follows:

  1. Board of Governors and Board of Trustees committee minutes and records are restricted for 35 years except as to those sections which require greater confidentiality consistent with Parts 2 and 3 below;
  1. Student records are restricted for 75 years; subject to the applicability of the Federal Family Education and Privacy Rights Acts.
  1. Employee records are restricted for 75 years.

Access to the records of an individual student or employee will be permitted with written consent of the individual whose records are sought. Access for aggregate studies (anonymous studies of groups) will be considered in accordance with this policy and the policies of the office of origin.

  1. Records of the Office of University Counsel: records created by the office in its capacity as counsel to the University and are therefore privileged and confidential and exempt from access.

Other records may be restricted for more than 20 years as determined by the Committee on Archives.

During the restricted period, the records will be made available only to the office of origin, the staff of the University Archives and officers of the University as necessary. Consideration for access by others will be given when a written request is presented to the University Archivist. A review of the decision of the University Archivist may be obtained from the Committee on Archives by submitting a written request for such a review of the University Archivist. Both the initial request and the review of the University Archivist's decision must be accompanied by sufficient information as to the intended uses of the records. The University Archivist may impose whatever conditions on the use of the records as he or she deems necessary to preserve the confidentiality of the information contained in such records.

This policy will not impinge upon the normal administrative uses of administrative records.