As a state agency, everything the University community creates - both in hardcopy and electronically - is considered a record regardless of its physical form or characteristic.

University records are public records and may not be destroyed or transferred to the University Archives without an official retention period approved by the State Records Committee.

All records must be retained according to a legally approved records retention schedule. How long the information is retained is based on content and purpose, not format.

These records include, but are not limited to:

Snail Mail
Research Data
Information in Databases
Text Messages
Social Media Posts
MS Office Files
Google Files
PDF Files
Files in the Cloud
Generative AI
and other audio/video recordings

The State of Washington formally defines a record in RCW 40.14.010 as -

any paper, correspondence, completed form, bound record book, photograph, film, sound recording, map drawing, machine-readable material, compact disc meeting current industry ISO specifications, or other document, regardless of physical form or characteristics, and including such copies thereof, that have been made by or received by any agency of the state of Washington in connection with the transaction of public business, and legislative records as described in RCW 40.14.100