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Hit a Home Run With These Best Practices


Trivia Question of the Month

It's summertime, and the livin' is easy. Here at Records Management headquarters the long-awaited arrival of summer makes us daydream about getting on a plane and exploring far-away places.

If you're currently planning on leaving the University of Washington to jet off into the sunset for an indefinite amount of time, there are a few things we would like you to consider before you do. But…

What is the one thing you should NOT do before you leave your position at UW?

  1. Check if any records in your office are on a destruction hold.
  2. Ensure substantive records within retention are clearly labeled and accessible.
  3. Leave everything for your successor and/or co-workers to figure out after you’re gone.
  4. Give yourself enough time because parsing through your records may take longer than anticipated.

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...

E-Record Policy Builder

Managing the constant influx of digital information can be daunting for any individual, let alone entire Colleges, Schools or Departments. The amount of digital records we are creating has been exponentially increasing the last several years. Central enterprise systems like the University Document Management System DocFinity and Workday can manage your records for you, but what about the rest of your electronic data in places like Shared Drives, SharePoint, or OneDrive? To help manage your unstructured data, our office created the E-Record Policy Builder.

An E-Record Policy will ensure your unit is intentional about what electronic records you are storing, where you are storing them, how you are organizing them, and who has access to those records. Once completed, you will have created an actionable standard operating procedure for the use and management of your electronic records. Contact our office with any questions:

Clarify in July

Reminder: July is a great time to round up records with a cutoff of academic year end or fiscal year end. Purge ROT as you’re gathering up your records by deleting records which have reached the end of their retention period, drafts and redundant versions, loose to-do lists, and transitory notes. Label folders and files which need to be retained coherently, and save them to a secure shared storage location like SharePoint, OneDrive, or a shared network driveexample folder structure for change of major forms divided into active vs. graduated and into years within graduated folder

  • Do you have student records? Many types of student records have a cutoff of “graduation” or “date of last contact”. Gather, label, and store your records for students who graduated or left in June—and don’t forget substantive emails. Move graduated students’ records from Active to Inactive - grad 2023 folders.
  • Review our resources file naming conventions and folder structure examples.
  • Schedule a summertime office-wide cleanup day or email deleting party, and the ROT Squad will guest star to answer questions and supply a much-needed dose of humor.

And remember: all records need to be managed, no matter where they reside: a shared network drive, email accounts, DocFinity, or even a box of paper files in a bathroom with a chandelier.

Questions? Contact us for advice at

New Training for Offboarding

We hosted a couple of offboarding presentations on Zoom in the last year, and people liked them so much that we created an online training: Offboarding: Cleared for Takeoff. It covers a wide variety of formats of records, and gives tips for a variety of situations – whether you are looking for help for yourself or someone else, and whether the departure date is in two weeks or in six months. To develop this training we worked with real people preparing for retirement, so we’re sure its likely to be helpful for those planning to leave the University. Check it out!

And if you are still overwhelmed with the amount of records you have and need help, email

Enjoy your summer, but remember...

smokey the bear retro poster smokey checking full mailbox with cubs meme text reads risk of messy inbox? moderate todaysmokey the bear retro poster smokey in his office with safety equipment meme text reads only you can prevent records messessmokey the bear retro poster smokey lifting hat says thanks for listening now go delete your transitory emails

Trivia Answer: c. Leave everything for your successor and/or co-workers to figure out after you’re gone.

Although this may be tempting to do, it will most likely give your co-workers and/or your successor a headache and it may even open up the University to unnecessary risk. Going through your records before you leave your position at UW may feel overwhelming but we have an online training to make it as painless as possible. If you still feel overwhelmed after watching the training or have any questions, we invite you to contact our for help.

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


Barbara Benson

Emily Lemieux

Lynn O'Shea

Sean Whitney

Laetitia Rhodes Kaiser