As a state agency, the University of Washington is subject to laws regarding 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.

As an individual, that means:

  • Keeping records for the appropriate amount of time (the retention period).
  • Keeping records in such a way that they are not damaged or destroyed.
  • Keeping records so that you can find them, open them, and read them for the full retention period.
  • Being able to produce copies in the event of litigation, audit, or public records request.
  • Disposing of records promptly, in an appropriate manner, once the retention period has expired.

As an office, that means:

  • Appointing a Records Authority and Records Coordinator to oversee and assist in departmental records management
    • The Records Authority has final approval for the disposition of records and for approving departmental retention schedules.
    • The Records Coordinator administers all day-to-day transactions associated with the office's records-related functions and acts as a liaison with Records Management Services.
    • These roles should be assigned to someone in a permanent position, not a temporary or student employee, but it is possible a single individual may fill both roles.
  • Establishing an onboarding procedure informing all employees of their responsibilities regarding proper records management.
  • Establishing a systematic off boarding procedure to preserve records with continuing retention regardless of employee turnover.
  • Informing Records Management Services as departmental business practices change to ensure the University's retention schedules remain up-to-date.

Contact us at 543-7950 or email to:

  • Find the Records Authority and Coordinator for your office
  • Change your office's Records Authority or Records Coordinator
  • Inform us of a required change to your Departmental Records Retention Schedule