Records Management Frequently Asked Questions

records center

Here are some answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the records management program. For further information, please contact the university archivist.

  • University records are all records prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by administrators, faculty acting in administrative capacities and staff of university units in the performance of an official function regardless of format.

  • A retention schedule is the timetable and description of a record's series life cycle including instructions for disposition. University records not on a state-approved schedule cannot be destroyed or transferred to the University Records Center.

  • Set up an appointment with the University Archivist, Melinda McMartin Isler. Your office will first need to complete the records survey process, and staff will create a schedule that will work for you. Then you can begin destruction of outdated records.
  • You receive an annual reminder of records eligible for destruction. If records are held by the department, the department is responsible for filling out a certificate of destruction and forwarding it to the University Archivist. If the records are in the records center, you will receive notification from the University Archivist, who will have already filed a certificate of destruction. If you still need these records, please respond. Otherwise, records will be automatically destroyed.

  • If the record is on a retention schedule and the office does not have room to maintain it, the University Records Center will take records into the University Records Center and let the office know when boxes are eligible for destruction.

  • Fill out a records transfer memo, and call or email the University Archivist to arrange for the transfer of boxes. Transfers of 10 boxes or less may be done by archives staff. Larger staff transfers may need to be done through the Physical Plant moving crew.

  • Records which are used regularly (more than once or twice a month) should not be transferred into the University Records Center. But some records need to be recalled on an occasional basis may be done through a call or email to the University Archivist.

    Records placed into the inactive records center are available to the originating office upon request. All requests from other offices must be approved by the originating office before the records will be retrieved.

    There are two ways in which to review records. The first is to come visit the reading room for the University Archives and review materials. If a particular item needs to be "loaned" back to the office, that may be arranged.

    For requests of one box or less, requests can be made to archival staff to have the materials delivered to the office. Records are usually delivered within 48 hours. 

  • You receive an annual reminder of records eligible for destruction. If records are held by the department, the department is responsible for filling out a certificate of destruction and forwarding it to the University Archivist. If the records are in the records center, you will receive notification from the University Archivist, who will have already filed a certificate of destruction. If you still need these records, please respond. Otherwise, records will be automatically destroyed.

  • Records on the schedule are marked "for archives" and will eventually be processed and made available for the public in accordance with records policies. Records in the University Records Center are not available except to the generating department.

  • Records with historic interest, whether identified on the schedule or identified by office staff can be transferred at the same time as records for the University Records Center. Use the same records transfer memo and process listed for sending records to the University Records Center.