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. That means:

  • Keeping the record for the appropriate amount of time (the retention period)
  • Keeping it in such a way that it is not damaged or destroyed
  • Keeping it in such a way that it can be found and viewed
  • Being able to produce copies in the event of litigation, audit, or public records request
  • Disposing of the records promptly, in an appropriate manner, once the retention period has expired.

Each office should designate a Records Authority and a Records Coordinator to oversee and assist in departmental records management. It should be someone in a permanent position, not a temporary or student employee, but it is possible a single individual may fill both positions.

  • The Records Authority has final approval for the disposition of records stored at the University Records Center and for signing departmental retention schedules.
  • The Records Coordinator administers all day-to-day transactions associated with the office's records-related functions. This can include file organization and maintenance, implementation of retention schedules, inactive records storage, and records destruction. The Records Coordinator also acts as liaison with University Records Management Services.

To find the Records Authority and Coordinator for your office, please call 543-0573 or email