Grey Haired Area

Learning Objects

You work at an institution of Higher Education. One morning you receive a box on your desk that has been mailed to the archives. The box contains records of an affiliated alumni organization that has been having some issues with the university in recent years because of the sale of a few pieces of artwork that had been purchased by various alumni over the years, but no longer fit the university mission. This group resides in a grey area of whether or not it is connected to the official institution alumni group, which you are required to collect materials from as a part of retention schedules. The records found in this box contain meeting minutes and correspondence, in the form of printed emails, from members and officers of the group. The communication is somewhat scandalous calling out the current president and director of alumni relations in particular. Some of the messages even contain what is best described as coded racist remarks against the current president who is a non-white female. There is a note from the former secretary transmitting the materials that come across as frustrated with the group’s behavior.


  • What issues are at play in this scenario?
  • Do you restrict this material?
    • For how long?
    • What if the parties impacted by the scandalous emails no longer work for the institution?

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