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Bill Number: 2339 Ratification Number: 32 Act Number 16 Introducing Body: House Subject: Preservation of student and institutional records upon the merger
(A16, R32, H2339)
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE PRESERVATION OF STUDENT AND INSTITUTIONAL RECORDS UPON THE MERGER, CONSOLIDATION, CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP, OR DISSOLUTION OF ANY NONPUBLIC DEGREE-GRANTING INSTITUTION LOCATED IN THIS STATE AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. As used in this act:
(1) "Commission" means the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.
(2) "Archive" means the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
(3) "Nonpublic degree-granting institutions" includes, but is not limited to, any entity not owned or operated in whole or in part by the State that is maintained and operated as a school, institute, junior college, college, university, seminary, or educational entity of whatever kind which offers a degree or instruction leading toward or prerequisite to a degree beyond the secondary level.
(4) "Degree" includes, but is not limited to, any academic credential or designation such as associate, bachelor, master, doctor, or fellow, whether earned or honorary, which signifies satisfactory completion of the requirements of an academic, theological, occupational, business, or other program of study beyond the secondary school level. "Degree" does not include a certificate or diploma without any academic designation which may be used to signify partial or satisfactory completion of educational training oriented toward a specific occupation or skill taught in a program of study beyond the secondary school level.
(5) "Located in the State" means chartered, licensed, or otherwise legally authorized as having its base of operations in South Carolina but does not mean having its permanent base of operations outside of the State and operating in temporary locations in the State.
(6) "Records" means the permanent records or transcripts of all students, excluding disciplinary records, as well as institutional records of administrative, fiscal or legal value, or historical significance.
Institution to notify commission
SECTION 2. Any nonpublic degree-granting institution located in the State shall notify the Commission and the Archives prior to merger, consolidation, change of ownership, or dissolution of its plan to provide for the retention and disposition of records. The plan shall provide for the retention by the Archives or for the assignment of the records to another institution or agency willing to accept responsibility for their safety, maintenance, distribution, and, when appropriate, disposal.
Institution may be required to deliver records
SECTION 3. If an institution cannot comply with the provisions of Section 2, the Executive Directors of the Commission and the Archives may require the institution to deliver its records to the Archives for inventory, evaluation, and scheduling. The Commission may require the governing boards of the institutions to authorize student records or transcripts to be made from the permanent records transferred to the Archives, provided restricted records are maintained and access is allowed only when authorized in writing by the students or as otherwise required by law. Record disposal schedules for each institution must be approved by the Commission and the Archives as provided for records of state and local agencies in Chapter 1, Title 30 of the 1976 Code. No record may be disposed of without the approval of the Commission and the Archives. In case of a dispute over the disposal of any record of a defunct nonpublic, post-secondary educational institution, the decision of the State Budget and Control Board is final.
SECTION 4. If the Archives becomes the depository for records of defunct institutions, it is authorized to assess and collect fees to duplicate and distribute the records, the proceeds of which must be deposited with the State Treasurer to be used as provided for in Section 30-1-100 of the 1976 Code. The fees must be at the same rate charged for reproduction of public records in custody of the Archives.
SECTION 5. Any person in possession of a record who refuses or neglects within fifteen days after written request by the Executive Director of the Commission and the Executive Director of the Archives to deliver the records is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be fined in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars. In addition, the Executive Director of the Archives may apply by verified petition to the court of common pleas in the county of residence of the person withholding the records, and the court shall upon proper showing issue its order for delivery of the records to the Director.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.