17th Graduate of Gateway PhD Program Focuses on Appraisal and Information in the Private Sector


Dr. Salvador BarraganThe Gateway PhD program, an international doctoral program at San José State University School of Information and conferred by Queensland University of Technology, celebrated its 17th graduate, Dr. Salvador Barragan.

In his dissertation, Appraisal and retention of information in the private sector: A case study, Barragan examined the intersection of electronically-stored information appraisal, decision making, and the influence of social mood within the context of the private sector. His research described the decision-making processes, underlying criteria, and possible causal reasons that determine how information is appraised, and how these elements affect retention and disposition in a private organization.

Barragan’s study sprang from the assumption, drawn from existing literature, that organizations apply retention to content, and attempted to understand the appraisal decisions that led to retention and disposition decisions by an organization. Through interviews and documentary evidence, he gathered and analyzed data to describe the disposition-making process, “and to discover what heuristics were instrumental in how the organization made its information decisions.”

Barragan expressed gratitude for the support he received from his faculty advisors, Dr. Patricia Franks (SJSU), Dr. Ian Stoodley (QUT), and Dr. Sylvia Edwards (QUT), and noted that it was “a tough but rewarding journey that could not have been accomplished without my PhD advisors.”

Franks, who is also an associate professor and coordinator for the Master of Archives and Records Administration program at the iSchool, readily acknowledged the relevancy of Barragan’s work, and commended the effectiveness of his approach.

“Dr. Barragan agreed with RIM professionals who now recognize information as a business asset that has value to the organization, but he took this concept a step further by recommending a change to the way information assets are evaluated for retention and disposition,” said Franks.

“He explains that retention ‘requires placing the greatest emphasis on realized, probable, and possible economic or revenue value that information represents for an organization,’ over the traditional approach of disposition based on legal compliance to specific laws, or the fear of discovery of ESI through a cyberattack or litigation.” 

Franks remarked that Barragan is “an independent thinker who used his vast personal experience in the business world to develop a theoretical framework for appraising information,” and she emphasized his unique perspective reflected in his research—one that “applied concepts from socio-nomics and info-nomics to information appraisal.”

Describing Barragan’s ideas as “innovative,” Franks expressed that “it was a pleasure to follow the development of his research agenda from the day he proposed his topic through his final seminar and the approval of his thesis by the university.”

In addition to his PhD, Barragan has graduate degrees in history and theology from Duquesne and Franciscan University of Steubenville, and undergraduate degrees in history and business operations. He has also earned numerous professional designations including Certified Knowledge Manager, AIIM SharePoint Practitioner and Specialist Certification, ACA Certified Archivist, AIIM BPM Specialist and Practitioner Certification, and AIIM ERM Master Certification.

Barragan’s current position is director of data strategy and governance at Freddie Mac, a corporation with among the largest revenues in the United States. Previously, he held records and archives director positions with the International Monetary Fund and Inter-American Development Bank.