MARA 204-11
Management of Records and Archival Institutions
Fall 2018 Syllabus

Jason Kaltenbacher
Office hours: By appointment.  Appointments can be via telephone or online.

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 21st at 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

Application of management principles to the administration of records and archives centers; management functions, theories, and concepts; decision-making; goals and objectives; organizational structures; human resources; financial considerations; marketing; legal considerations; ethical considerations; global concerns.

Course Requirements

Lectures, discussions, assignments, and rubrics will be posted to the Canvas course management system. Links to additional materials will be provided in Canvas as well.

Here is a brief summary of the assignments and points earned:

  • Student Introduction post to discussion board - 2 points
  • Regular Discussion based on material covered - 2 points each X 8 = 16 points
  • Research Discussion - 6 points each X 2 = 12 points
  • Environmental Scan/SWOT analysis - 15 points [CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4]
  • Group Project: Strategic Plan (Includes group paper and presentation) - 25 points [CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4]
  • Operational plan - 15 points [CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4]
  • Analytical Essay: Current Management Issues in Archives & Records Administration - 15 points [CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4]

Total number of points for this class is 100.

NOTE: For weeks with required discussion board postings, students should provide their initial post by Tuesday at midnight (Pacific Time), to leave ample time for follow-up discussion. Please participate actively in the required discussions.

Details for all of the discussions and assignments will be provided in Canvas.

Assignments Due
Unless otherwise noted, each module begins on Saturday and ends on Friday. Assignments will be due by midnight (Pacific Time) on the due date.  

Course Calendar

Week/Dates Primary Readings Assignment
Aug. 21-24 Course Introduction  
Module 1:

Aug. 25-31
Setting the Stage: Challenges and Opportunities in Leading Archives and Records Programs (Ch. 1) Student Introduction

Discussion board (Regular discussion)
Module 2:

Sept. 1-7
The Records Management Leader (Ch. 2)  
Sept. 3 Labor Day (NO CLASS)  
Module 3:

Sept. 8-14
Leading a Successful Records Management Program (Ch. 4) Discussion board (Research discussion)
Module 4:

Sept. 15-21
The Influence of Leadership in Archives and Records Management (Ch. 5)

Environmental Scan/SWOT analysis; Due: September 21st

Module 5:

Sept. 22-28
Trying to Lead from Good to Great and Some Reflections on Leadership at all Levels (Ch. 7) Discussion board (Regular discussion)
Module 6:

Sept. 29 - Oct. 5
Meeting Leadership Challenges: Lessons from Experience (Ch. 8) Discussion board (Regular discussion)
Module 7:

Oct. 6-12
Records Management and Archival Standards: What they are and why they are important (Ch. 3) Group Project: Strategic Plan; Due: October 12th
Module 8:

Oct. 13-19
Review and Discuss Group Project Presentations

Discussion board (Regular discussion)

Module 9:

Oct. 20-26
Competing for Relevance: Archives in A Multiprogram Organization (Ch. 6) Discussion board (Regular discussion)
Module 10:

Oct. 27 - Nov. 2
Stranger in a Strange Land: The Archivist and the Corporation (Ch. 9) Operational Plan; Due: November 2nd
Module 11:

Nov. 3-9
Managing Change at the Vermont State Archives: A Continuing Issue (Ch. 10) Discussion board (Regular discussion)

Module 12:

Nov. 10-16
Appraising, Transferring, Preserving and Making Available Born-Digital Records From Central Govt. Departments ("Seamless Flow") (Ch. 11) Discussion board (Regular discussion)
Nov. 12 Veteran's Day (NO CLASS)  
Module 13:

Nov. 17-23
Leading from the Middle: Building a University Archives (Ch. 12)  

Nov. 22-23

Thanksgiving Holiday (NO CLASS)  

Module 14:

Nov. 24-30

The State Archives, Education, and Politics in NY (Ch. 13) Discussion board (Research discussion)

Module 15:

Dec. 1-7

Leading Archives and Records Programs (Chs. 14 & 15) Discussion board (Regular discussion)

Dec. 8-10

Course Wrap-up Analytical Essay: Current Management Issues in Archives & Records Administration; Due: December 10th 

Please complete the SOTES (Student Opinion of Teaching Effectiveness) by Dec. 10th

**No Class: Monday, Sept. 3, 2018 (Labor Day)

**No Class: Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 (Veteran's Day)

**No Class: Thursday-Friday, Nov. 22-23, 2018 (Thanksgiving Holiday)


  1. Course grades are determined by the accumulation of 100 possible points, distributed as outlined above in the course calendar.
  2. This class follows the standard iSchool Grading Scale. 
  3. Late assignments will not be accepted after 5 days past the due date. Late assignments submitted after the assignment deadline will receive a 10% point reduction for each day up to 5 days based on the total point value of the assignment. For example, a 25 point assignment would have a daily 2.5 point reduction; a 15 point assignment would have a daily 1.5 point reduction; a 5 point assignment would have a daily 0.5 point reduction. No points will be awarded after 5 days late.
  4. Discussion board postings will not be accepted for credit after the week's discussion has ended.
  5. All course materials must be completed by the last day of the class.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

Demonstrated computer literacy through completion of required new student online technology workshop

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify, interpret and apply some of the major management theories applicable to modern organizations.
  2. Articulate the place of archives and records management environments within major organizational models.
  3. Relate models of records management and administration to organizational models.
  4. Analyze, through case studies and journal/periodical literature, how management decisions affect and are affected by records and recordkeeping.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

MARA 204 supports the following core competencies:

  1. D Apply basic concepts and principles to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to physical and digital information assets.
  2. F Apply fundamental management theories and principles to the administration of data, archives, information, or records programs.
  3. G Describe the legal requirements and ethical principles involved in managing physical and digital information assets and the information professional#s role in institutional compliance and risk management.


Required Textbooks:

  • Dearstyne, B. W. (2008). Leading and Managing Archives and Records Programs: Strategies for Success. Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1555706150. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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