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Back to Policy Section VI: General Administration
Section VI: General Administration

Policy Number: VI-22.00(A)

University of Maryland Policy on Institutional Data Management

(Approved by the President Technical Amendments )

I. Purpose

To establish policy for the management of University Institutional Data (as defined below) and the responsibilities for the protection of those data. This policy does not apply to data created or collected by other institutions of the University System of Maryland when such data reside in systems managed by the University of Maryland, College Park.

The policy will serve to:

  • Ensure establishment, maintenance and delivery of stable, reliable, and accessible collections of Institutional Data in electronic form for shared access by the University community;
  • Maximize the value received from Institutional Data by increasing the understanding of Data and their use;
  • Provide an integrated view of the functions of the University;
  • Improve direct access to Institutional Data by end-users;
  • Support the University's strategy to incorporate information technology as an integral part of decision-making, competitive positioning, and delivery of services.

II. Policy

The University of Maryland's Institutional Data, by definition, practice and intent, are University assets. Institutional Data are owned by the University and not by individual persons, units, or departments of the University.

Institutional Data will be safeguarded and protected. As University assets, Institutional Data will be protected from deliberate, unintentional or unauthorized alteration, destruction and/or inappropriate disclosure or use in accordance with established institutional policies and practices and federal and state laws. 

Data will be shared based on institutional policies. Institutional Data will be made accessible to all authorized users and systems, as defined in institutional policies. 

Data will be managed as an institutional resource. Data organization and structure will be planned on functional and institutional levels. Data usage and data sources will be managed through the data stewardship principles of administering and controlling data quality and standards in support of institutional goals and objectives. 

Institutional Data will be defined and identified. Standards will be developed for their representation in the database.

Databases will be developed based on needs of University processes. Data standards and guidelines will be developed to support our institutional processes. These data architectures will drive physical implementation of databases. 

The quality of Institutional Data will be actively managed. Explicit criteria for data validity, availability, accessibility, interpretation, and ease of use will be established and promoted. Controls will be established to assure the completeness and validity of the data, and to manage redundancy. Action programs for data quality improvement will be implemented.

III. Goals

Successful management of Institutional Data is critical to the administrative functions of the University. Through active planning, organization, and control of these institutional assets, the University will: 

Manage data as a strategic asset to improve the quality of services to faculty, staff and students. 

Implement databases that are consistent, reliable and accessible to meet institutional requirements. 

Provide data management services that result in the highest quality data to all units to help maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their processes.

IV. Responsibilities

Every University Dean, Department Chair and Director is responsible for implementing and ensuring compliance with the University Institutional Data Management Policy and must initiate corrective action with the proper authorities of the University if it is needed. Responsibilities include:

  • Communicating this policy to employees. 
  • Establishing specific goals, objectives and action plans to implement the data policy. Developing plans that guide information system and database development to satisfy both customers and Institutional Data needs. 
  • Actively supporting strong data management through data stewardship. 
  • Making education and training in data management principles available to staff whose jobs require them to access, maintain or use Institutional Data.

The Data Policy Advisory Committee (DPAC), an advisory committee to the Provost, is responsible for handling matters related to institutional data, information policy, and information security. The committee will advise, make recommendations, and develop policy on matters related to data use, data privacy and data security. It will make recommendations on the development of the data warehouse, the University Directory and other efforts to provide appropriate user and public access to campus databases. The committee will consult broadly with the campus community about the utility and effectiveness of campus databases to meet their needs.

V. Definitions

Institutional Data: A data element qualifies as Institutional Data if it is:

  • Relevant to planning, managing, operating, controlling, or auditing administrative functions of an administrative or academic unit of the University; or 
  • Generally referenced or required for use by more than one organizational unit; or 
  • Included in an official University administrative report; or 
  • Used to derive an element that meets one or more of the criteria above.

Data elements that are used internally by a single department or office will generally not qualify as Institutional Data. While correspondence and other documents (whether in print, electronic or digital formats) may contain Institutional Data subject to this policy, correspondence and documents themselves will generally not qualify as Institutional Data applying the above criteria. Ownership of and access to correspondence and documents created or received by University personnel are governed by the University System of Maryland Policy on Records Management, the University of Maryland Intellectual Property Policy, the Maryland Public Information Act, the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy, and other policies and guidelines. 

Institutional Database: A database the elements of which are used by more than one office or unit for purposes of institutional management, including but not limited to fulfillment of reporting requirements to external entities. 

Unit Specific Database: A database the elements of which are pertinent to the work of a single office or unit and used and accessible by individuals within that office or unit. 

Employee Specific Database: A database the elements of which are maintained by an individual employee in the scope of that employee's employment and that concern subjects that are outside the scope of employment of other members of the employee's office or unit.