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UNCW Records Management

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

About Sensitive Records

Many of the records that we create and handle as UNCW employees contain sensitive information. These types of records may include personnel files, student records, consumer information (such as credit card numbers), or other records with personally identifiable information (like driver's license numbers or Social Security numbers). In the General Records Schedule, types of records that often contain sensitive information are identified with a lock symbol:

Image of a series from the General Records Schedule with the lock symbol for confidential records

The lock symbol alerts you that the records may contain sensitive information and cites relevant state and federal laws regarding their handling and disposition.

Handling Sensitive Records

Most sensitive records in UNCW offices are not scheduled to be transferred to the University Archives. Often, the office will be required to maintain the records for a certain number of years after which, as long as there are no outstanding legal or audit holds, the records may be destroyed. UNCW Warehouse Services offers document management services including secure destruction of confidential materials.

In those cases where sensitive records are scheduled for permanent retention in Archives, the transferring office must clearly identify the records as sensitive in order to ensure that they are not opened for public access.  There is no standard procedure for labeling sensitive records before transfer — each office should do what works best for them. Some offices separate sensitive records so that they are easy to find, others make sure they are clearly labeled as sensitive on the folder.

Pay Attention to Social Security Numbers!

If you're working with older records, look out: Social Security numbers are everywhere. From the 1960s through the early 2000s, UNCW used Social Security numbers as the primary identification number for students and employees. Social Security Numbers appear on job applications, CVs, and all sorts of student and employee files. Be extra careful with these records and be sure to identify any that have Social Security numbers before they're transferred to the University Archives.

By the early 2000s, UNCW began using the PID (850 number) as its primary identification number for students and employees. PIDs are not considered sensitive and do not need to be separated or redacted