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Spring Into an Orderly Future


Trivia Question of the Month

It’s officially spring! Our famous UW cherry trees are blooming, the birds are singing, and the days are finally getting longer. Spring is a great season to celebrate new beginnings and love.

Here at Records Management Services headquarters we have a burning passion for this month’s trivia question - so much passion in fact that we think there is absolutely no way you can get it wrong because we talk about it almost all the time:

Who has the legal responsibility to manage the University’s records?

  1. Records Management Services
  2. Nobody
  3. Every employee
  4. The Attorney General’s Office

Want to challenge your co-workers? Feel free to forward this email to them and see if they know the answer. Scroll down to see the answer below…

Spring Forward From a Firm Foundation

Clipboard Checked outlineDo you have a new employee onboarding checklist? Of course you do! There is so much to remember, from arranging digital security roles to Title IX training to buying a new mousepad. Have you considered adding Records Management training to your new employee checklist? You can highlight our online training Introduction to Records Management, make sure your new colleague reviews their RM responsibility, knows where to find the UW General Records Retention Schedule, and understands the University Email Policy. Or, perhaps you’d like to schedule a brief introduction meeting with one of our friendly staff to go over the basics of records management at the UW. Get your new employee started on a firm foundation as you orient them in your office, including to your unique records landscape.


Celebrating Records and Information Management Month

April is National Records and Information Management Month, now in its 28th year! The goal is to emphasize the significance of organizing and maintaining records effectively.

To celebrate National Records and Information Management Month, we’ll be hosting the following events. Please watch our 9 minute Introduction to Records Management Training before attending if records management concepts are new to you, because these sessions will be slightly more advanced. 

Go Green, Go Digital!

If you still have any work processes in your office that are in paper, sometimes it can be overwhelming to figure out how to transform them into a digital workflow. You’ll have to consider where and how to store the records and make a plan for review and deletion. It’s also good to consider all the types of different electronic records, like email notifications and receipts attached to Ariba, do not need to be retained. Attend this information session on how to go digital, and go green just in time for Earth Day.

When: 11:00 am on April 21, 2023


ShapeDescription automatically generatedAll About Offboarding: Prepare for Takeoff

Are you leaving your position soon? Even if you are not, if you are a supervisor it’s good to be informed about offboarding so that you can be prepared when your staff members eventually depart in the future.

For an in-depth look at offboarding, attend our Departure Information Session. It will cover important items that should be on the to-do list for any employee who is preparing to leave their position. What can be deleted? What will need to be retained and transferred to someone else in your office? We’ll cover all formats of records, lay out practical actionable steps, and let you know how you can get even more help.

When: 11:00am on April 28, 2023


Spring Into the Future...But Don't Forget the Past

With Finance Transformation Go Live on the near horizon, this seems like a good time to focus on what to do with the legacy financial records in your office or department. For years we've all had to create workarounds to ensure we were actively managing our budgets and be able to create the projections we needed for strategic planning. On a more basic level, since the inception of the UW ProCard, we've all been responsible for maintaining invoices, receipts, packing slips and reconciliations that support ProCard transactions. In a Workday future state, none of this should be necessary. So what to do with the spreadsheets, databases, and ProCard records you've been accumulating for years? Well, as you might have noticed, 6 years is the magic number in the State of Washington for retention requirements. All of these financial records have a 6 year retention period.

But the real question is when do you start counting down on that 6 years? For state budgets and gift budgets, use end of fiscal year. For grant budgets, use 6 years from submission of a financial status report. If there is no FSR submitted, 6 years from submission of final invoice to sponsor. If there is no requirement to submit a final invoice, 6 years from close of budget. Fortunately, GCA makes the appropriate "records retention trigger date" available in Grant Tracker.

When Workday goes live, we will still have the responsibility to maintain these legacy financial records for the legally approved retention period. If you need help figuring out where these records should live until they can be deleted/purged, check out our resource on Choosing the Right Storage Location. If you need help organizing these records, check out our resources around files management like Best Practices for Folder Structures or Recommendations on File/Folder Naming Conventions. If you have a lot of ProCard receipts and invoices in email, check out our Flow Chart for Processing and Managing Email or our instructions on how to Apply Retention in Outlook. While you are in email, you might also find our applying Outlook Rules and Outlook Quick Steps helpful. And finally, created just for Finance Transformation we recommend our FT, Records Management, and the Disposition of Finance Systems. That’s a long list of resources! Overwhelmed? Just contact us at and we'll be happy to work directly with you.


Caption Contest

What has these two so puzzled? Why the consternation?! Is it difficulty applying a retention requirement, no idea where that document was filed, hours with tech support, or a tricky reference question?

Help us celebrate Records and Information Management Month by writing us at with your records management related caption submission for either image, and the winner will be featured in our May newsletter!

frustrated woman in hijab on phone in office

alarmed 1930s woman on phone in office

Trivia Answer: c. Every employee. As a state agency, the University of Washington is subject to laws regarding records retention, public records and transparency. Subsequently, the University, each of its offices, and each and every employee has the legal responsibility to demonstrate the proper care and management of its records.

Click here to watch the video on this new University-wide initiative.


Barbara Benson

Emily Lemieux

Lynn O'Shea

Sean Whitney

Laetitia Rhodes Kaiser