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UNCW Records Management

This is a guide for all UNCW employees on records management.

Your Responsibility

You are responsible for records you create or maintain. You should organize, review, and manage these records in accordance with the General Records Retention & Disposition Schedule for UNC Wilmington.

Records document the various functions of an office or department. Records can take many formats including, but not limited to, paper documents, digital files, websites, email, or video. We review records for retention and disposition based on informational content, not format. 

Simple Records Management Workflow

Diagram of Simple Records Management Workflow

Workflow courtesy of East Carolina University

This diagram illustrates a simple records management workflow. Records are initially created and actively used. Usually, there comes a point when the records are no longer actively used and that is a good time to check the retention period for that record type. The retention and disposition is regulated by the UNC General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule. Once the retention period is identified, the records are stored within the office for the designated period.

After the retention period is over, the disposition of records is initiated. The disposition usually results in destruction of records or transferring select records to the University Archives for permanent preservation. For certain records, the disposition may require keeping the records permanently within the office or another secure location. Randall Library and University Archives are not able to store nonpermanent records and we cannot provide temporary storage. The only records sent to the University Archives are those no longer needed in your office and identified for permanent retention in University Archives due to archival value.

Managing Records at UNCW

As employees of the University of North Carolina Wilmington we create records in our daily work. We all have a shared responsibility to manage this information appropriately as directed by state and federal regulations for public records. The University Archivist helps employees to follow the University's Records Retention Schedule and strives to empower all employees to confidently and efficiently manage records. 

If you're trying to figure out what to do with records — old or new — in your office, this guide is the place to start. This guide contains information and tips for UNC Wilmington employees about records management requirements and procedures. 

If you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact University Archives. We're happy to come to your office and provide customized advice on how to organize records and prepare records for disposition.  

Public Records

There are two North Carolina laws that address public records, and as a public university, we are subject to them:

When it comes to public records, the word "public" doesn't necessarily mean open to the public. The word "public" in this context has to do with doing the public’s business or the business of government. According to state and federal statutes, many types of public records--health records, personnel records, or student records, for example--have special confidential classifications and must be handled accordingly. If you have questions or concerns about public records, refer to UNCW's Public Records Policy, managed by the Office of General Counsel.