General Records

This list of types or categories of records held across the University of Illinois System is intended to aid those seeking to obtain access to public records under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. It covers documentation in published, unpublished, machine-readable, and audiovisual forms. Correspondence may include printed letters as well as emails. 

The list is generic in nature, describing administrative and routine housekeeping files likely to be found in most university offices. Special or unique files documenting functions specific to a given office may be found by consulting the appropriate office.

Because of variations in record-keeping practices, it is unlikely that all offices will organize their files as outlined on this list or that any one office will have every item listed. Some types of information may be available in more than one office. Because records-retention practices provide for periodic destruction or archival transfer of information, a listed record may not be in a given office at a particular time.

Under provisions of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, some of the records described in this list, or certain portions of them, may be exempt from inspection and copying. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the universities are prohibited from releasing some records. Some public records are published and may be available for purchase, or may be available under library lending procedures.

If asked, the University of Illinois must provide "a description of the manner" in which electronic data "may be obtained" in a form useful to those lacking computer knowledge (printout, etc.).

1. Administrative subject files
These include correspondence, reports, memoranda, and publications concerning administration of the unit and its relations with other units and with external agencies.
In academic units these files can also concern curriculum, academic policy, departmental, college, and university committees, graduate and undergraduate programs, honors, lectures, departmental history, and governance. In administrative, service, and research offices these files can also concern the policies and procedures relating to the office's mission and programs.

2. Case files
These include correspondence, forms, and reports (generally arranged alphabetically by name) documenting such matters as accident compensation, counseling records, donor files, legal action, medical records, patents and copyrights, police records, student discipline, student financial aid, and student job placement.

3. Budget files
These include correspondence, memoranda, internal budget-statement printouts, and working papers showing proposed expenditures for salaries, equipment, supplies, and other purposes.

4. Financial records
These include monthly statements of account, requisitions, purchase orders, vouchers, and related correspondence documenting receipts and disbursements for activities supported by university, foundation, state, and federal funds.

5. Property files
These include deeds, leases, and documentation concerning the acquisition, maintenance, and sale of real property.

6. Building files
These include plans and drawings, specifications, operations and maintenance records.

7. Property control and supply records
These include movable-equipment inventories and records of the acquisition, inventory, and distribution of consumable supplies.

8. Academic statistical report files
These include statistical reports on academic staff teaching, research and service time, classroom space, and course enrollments.

9. Course and curriculum files
These include class and grade rosters, course catalogs, outlines, syllabi, reading lists, textbook order forms, records concerning degree requirements, and timetable files concerning course and section scheduling and enrollment limits.

10. Non-academic personnel files
These include employment applications, test scores, applicant referrals, appointment and change-of-status forms, performance evaluation reports, correspondence, and records of leaves and grievances.

11. Salary records
These include salary information and payroll accounting documents for all personnel, and time reports for civil service and student hourly staff.

12. Academic staff applicant files
These include job announcements, letters of application, vitae, candidates' publications and supporting documents, letters of recommendation, correspondence and notes, and affirmative action forms. Documentation for applicants who are hired is normally transferred to the Academic Personnel File.

13. Academic personnel files
These include employment applications, appointment and change-of-status forms, letters of recommendation, performance-evaluation reports, correspondence, and records of grievances, sabbaticals, and other leaves.

14. Promotion and tenure files
These include documents used in reviewing faculty for promotion and/or tenure, including vitae, lists of publications and professional activities, course-evaluation reports, letters of evaluation, reports of review committees and administrators, recommendations for action, summary of action, and related correspondence.

15. Undergraduate student files
These include ACT and/or SAT scores, notices of admission, semester grade reports, college-curriculum change cards, pass/fail option cards, transcripts, departmental forms recording academic progress, and correspondence regarding transfers, petitions, and students' work. Similar preenrollment documentation is held for students who withdrew and for individuals whose applications were incomplete or denied.

16. Graduate student files
These include applications, transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE and other test scores, permits to enter, notification of appointment and change-of-status forms for fellowships and assistantships, grade reports, evaluations, preliminary examinations, Ph.D. candidacy papers, dissertation proposals, departmental forms recording academic progress, and related correspondence. Similar preenrollment documentation is held for students who withdrew and for individuals whose applications were incomplete or denied.

17. Board, committee, and task force records
These include minutes, agenda, completed reports, working documents, and correspondence.

18. Contract files
These include contracts and agreements, financial records, correspondence, interim progress, and final reports.

19. Research and project files
These include research and project proposals, funding applications, financial and budget records, research data, reports, and correspondence.

20. Conference, symposium, institute, and seminar files
These include announcements, programs, registrant lists, papers, syllabi, photographs, correspondence, and financial records.

21. Entertainment and events files
These include announcements, correspondence, contracts, programs, and financial records for athletic, cultural, and other events.

22. Field-workers' files
These include reports and supporting documentation from county extension agents and field persons on work activities, site visits, and observations.

23. Library and information center records
These include files documenting the acquisition, cataloging, and use of published information, surveys, and statistical data.

24. Public-relations files
These include brochures, news releases, photographs, signs and posters, supporting documentation, news clippings, and mailing lists.

25. Publications files
These include editors' files, proposals, manuscripts, reader and reviewer comments, page and galley proofs, production, publication, and sales information, subscription and mailing records, copyright documentation, samples of completed publications, and correspondence.