Join our Listserv!  Contact Us  The ROT Squad


Don't Be Cavalier In the New Academic Year


Updated best practices

A woman in tech sitting at a desk with a computerWe have updated our Cloud Best Practices resource to be inclusive of any & all third party software tools UW units may be using, regardless of whether the system is in the cloud or on premise. In order to be efficient and effective, units can use cloud applications to streamline business processes and instantaneously share data across the enterprise. However, storing records with an outside vendor does not absolve the UW from responsibility for the proper retention and treatment of its records. As a result, before signing any contract for a new storage platform, we encourage all users to visit our best practices page for questions you and your leadership teams should be considering when choosing a third party software to store or manage your data. Visit our Third Party Software Best Practices Resource for all the updated information and please contact our office if you have any questions:

Retention Updates

OLD: We had a series on our General Records Retention Schedule for Search Committee Records for the recruitment of Deans and Directors.

NEW: We have expanded that series to include more job titles: Search Committees for Executive Heads of Major Administrative or Academic Divisions. This means that if an office does a search for a position with one of the following job titles: President, Provost, Dean, Vice President, Vice Provost, or Director, they should retain the records from the search committee for ten years after the end of the search, and then send the materials to University archives. Searches for all other positions remain at their current retention requirements

OLD: We have made a number of changes on our General Records Retention Schedule to Consent Forms.

NEW: In an effort to more closely follow how state and federal statutes look at consent forms and hopefully make it easier to apply retention requirements, we have created a new item: Consent Forms for Research: Human Subjects Research.

To ensure we are keeping consent forms for adults and minors who have received professional services rendered by a psychologist for the appropriate amount of time, we have added three new items:

Get set for the academic year

A person writing on a white board with two other people watching himThe start of the academic year is a great time to set up a folder structure for the future records you know you’ll be creating. Make it easier on yourself before you enter a busier time in the fall by doing a little bit of work now.

Check out our Educator’s Toolkit for some great tips on managing teaching-related records. Reference our Best Practices for Folder Structures for tips on dealing with other types of records. If you get really into creating your own  customized folder structure and want us to give feedback on how to make it even better, email for help.

Save the date: Halloween email deleting party!

A husky dog sitting next to a jack-o-lantern baying at the moon with bats in the sky text halloween email deleting partyManaging email can be scary! Afraid to delete a substantive record past retention? Scared of that item count steadily rising? Terrifyingly full inbox? Attend the Halloween Email Deleting Party at 2:00pm on October 31, 2023 hosted by Lynn and Emily, the RMS ROT Squad! Get tips and tricks to keep the email monster at bay. Even if we can’t provide garlic wreaths—and to our dismay, there’s no worktag for silver bullets—you’re guaranteed to walk away with a lighter inbox and new skills.

è Click here to add to your Outlook calendar



Trivia question of the month

a person dressed as a ghost in a sheet with 2 dark eye holds standing in a field outside with dark clouds abiveInheriting a poorly managed record repository can sometimes feel like you were conned into buying that charming Victorian three-story house with the impressive turret and the stunning wraparound porch only to realize that the realtor failed to mention any of the spectral roommates that came with it. I guess the price tag really was too good to be true… But we are here to remind you that no case is completely hopeless and that there are ways to evict the pesky ghosts that keep you up at night.

Something as straightforward as creating a sound folder structure can be a game changer. It reduces the time and effort required to manage your electronic records, supports business continuity and helps mitigate risk. However, to create a strong folder structure you need to know what a good one looks like. So our question this month is…

What is a sign of a sound folder structure?

  1. It groups together records by function and cut-off.
  2. It allows for easy identification of individual records without having to open each file to determine what it contains.
  3. It is straightforward and not overly complicated.
  4. All of the above.

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…

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


Barbara Benson

Emily Lemieux

Lynn O'Shea

Sean Whitney

Laetitia Rhodes Kaiser


Trivia Answer: d. All of the above. A combination of answers a), b), and c) is a great indication of a great folder structure. For more information, visit our website and read about Best Practices for Folder Structures.