U of S File Classification System

 0 -  99 Academic & Administrative Units
100 - 199 Personnel
200 - 299 Finance
300 - 399 Research
400 - 499 Committees
500 - 599 External Organizations
600 - 699 Unit Files
700 - 799 Minutes
800 - 899 Student Records
900 - 999 Spare Block

Download full classification system (last revised December 2003)

Using the File Classification System

The File Classification System has been prepared by the University Archives to provide guidance and a ready reference in organizing the records of academic and administrative units, or to improve or revise an existing filing system. Assistance and/or advice in implementing the File Classification System and correspondence processing is available from the Archives.

This File Classification System is designed to provide for the subject classification of all official University records, for the filing of the records for prompt information retrieval and reference purposes and for the final disposition of records in an orderly and systematic manner. Ten separate record series have been identified as common to many, though not all, academic and administrative units. These series are:

  • Academic & Administrative Units
  • Personnel
  • Finance
  • Research
  • Committees
  • External Organizations
  • Unit Files
  • Minutes
  • Official Student Files
  • Spare Block

The basic principle of classifying records according to these series is that the SUBJECT or TYPE of the document governs the selection of the appropriate primary record series (ie, PERSONNEL, FINANCE, etc.).

Using these record series BLOCKS offers a number of advantages. For example, filing and retrieval can be performed simultaneously by two or more individuals working with different types of documents. By using these blocks, a file system can be decentralized geographically (an employee down the hall can be responsible for one or more record series). Unlike an alphabetical filing system, there is no need of continual expansion in the middle of each file drawer or cabinet. Finally, this file classification system facilitates the separation or culling of those documents which have only short-term or limited administrative value.

A further refinement of the File Classification System is the use of a numbering pattern to distinguish between, and to locate within, each block of records. These blocks, identified above, have a separate number grouping for each primary record series, ie:

  • 0 - 99 Academic & Administrative Units
  • 100 - 199 Personnel
  • 200 - 299 Finance
  • 300 - 399 Research
  • 400 - 499 Committees
  • 500 - 599 External Organizations
  • 600 - 699 Unit Files
  • 700 - 799 Minutes
  • 800 - 899 Official Student Files
  • 900 - 999 Spare Block

Each primary record series is comprised of any number of sub-series (ie, FINANCE may include such sub-series as: Budget, Payroll, Travel, Equipment, etc.). Each sub-series, in turn, may include individual officers (ie, Associate VP, Assistant VP, etc.) or offices (ie, departments within colleges or units within divisions). The primary record series is represented in a BLOCK NUMERIC form (ie, a number of one to three digits). Secondary and tertiary numbers are to be used ONLY when it is necessary to further distinguish between individual subjects, services or individuals within a sub-series.

EXAMPLE A: 0-3.2 will be the numeric identifier for the University Archives' Retention and Disposition Schedule.

Primary Record Series:
  • numeric block: (0-99)
  • title: ACADEMIC & ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS
Sub-series:
  • number: 0.
  • title: University Archives
Sub-series Divisions:
  • the following secondary numbers are standard and should be used for each division:
  • number: -0 Policy
  • number: -1 General
    additional numbers should be added only as and if required (ie)
    • number: -2 Freedom of Information
    • number: -3 Records Management
    tertiary numbers, if used, indicate further division (ie)
    • number -3.1: File Classification System
    • number -3.2: Retention and Disposition Schedule

EXAMPLE B: 110-4.3 will be the numeric identifier for Faculty Tenure and Promotion Appeals.

Primary Record Series:
  • numeric block: (100-199)
  • title: PERSONNEL
Sub-series:
  • number: 110.
  • title: Faculty
Sub-series Divisions:
  • the following secondary numbers are standard and should be used for each division:
  • number: -0 Policy
  • number: -1 General
    additional numbers should be added only as and if required (ie)
    • number: -4 Tenure and Promotion
      tertiary numbers, if used, indicate further division (ie)
      • number -4.0: Policy
      • number -4.1: General
      • number -4.2: Current Year Recommendations
      • number -4.3: Appeals

When a version of this file classification system is adopted, here is no suggestion that existing filing systems be reconstructed to conform with this classification system. Existing files may be retained "as is" but as new files are created (perhaps at the beginning of an academic term) they should conform to this file classification system.

"Speculative files" - files for which there may be a future need - never should be created. Only establish a file if the amount of documentation warrants it.