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UNCW Records Management

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

Make Records Management Routine

Animated picture of someone typing at a computer. Caption says to contact your records manager officer to find out if you are creating records while you work from home.  Image: The Texas Record, Texas State Library & Archives Commission

  • Review records regularly. We recommend yearly review.
  • Become familiar with the Records Retention Schedule and the relevant record types for your department.  
  • Designate a person or small team within your office to handle records management activities consistently and at regular intervals.
    • Make sure at least one permanent staff member is involved in records management. Students and temporary workers can provide help in organizing records or preparing to transfer records to the University Archives, but often more institutional knowledge is needed to make decisions about retention.
  • Attend a records management workshop.
  • Schedule a consultation with University Archives to address retention questions or discuss transfer of records to the archives.

Review Records for Retention

When reviewing large amounts of records, it is recommended that you begin by grouping records by type at a high level before doing item level review. For example, label or physically group all personnel records to start. Then get more granular to review individual items based on the Records Retention Schedule. 

The following prompts can help guide your records management review project. Whether you are trying to clean out a storage room, deal with a messy shared drive, or handle just a few boxes of records, ask yourself these questions as you go:

  • What type of record is this?
    • Based on the information communicated in the record, what type of record is it? Personnel? A policy? Curriculum? Student information? Financial? Search the Retention Schedule to find the record type. 
  • What is the retention and disposition?
    • Check the Retention Schedule for the retention and disposition rules.
  • Who created the record? Who is responsible for it?
    • An important concept in records management is the Office of Record and Reference Copy. You may have copies of records that weren’t created by your department and so aren’t your responsibility. This can get tricky when it comes to cross-departmental collaboration. If you are uncertain, feel free to send us an email.
  • Does it go to the Archives?
    • Some records are scheduled to be transferred to the University Archives. If you have records that need to be archived, please contact us.
  • Is this information confidential?
    • If sensitive information is found, you will need to recycle or store the records accordingly. 

Get Organized

Use the following project ideas to get ahead on records management and improve organization of records in any format.

  • Inventory all the places records are stored (digital or physical locations) 
    • Create action items for reviewing and organizing storage locations.
  • Organize a discussion of records management and the records management guide with your team. Think about common record types and review retention.
  • Develop a records management plan with specific goals for organization of records and staff roles. Plan components and implementation will vary depending on department and record creation practices. Example plan components: 
    • Develop procedures and filing plans so that as records are created and used they will be grouped/stored based on type. Note the date for destruction or transfer to the University Archives in the folder or box name.
    • Create a file and folder naming convention to be used by everyone on your team or in your office. 
    • Designate a place to store final copies of key records that isn't dependent on individual staff computers or individual record keeping practices. 
    • Develop practices to improve digital records organization in shared drives and SharePoint/Teams. 
  • Make records management part of training for new employees in your department.