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Recordkeeping 101

If you are new to the concept and process of records management, familiarize yourself with the content below and the Record Management Handbook. The Handbook will notify you of your employee responsibility and how UW-Green Bay retains and disposes of our records.

Know your records

Familiarize yourself with the records in your department.  This includes records in file cabinets, department shared computer files, and database systems.  Next, all employees should be familiar with the Record Schedules List that lists record schedules that match the records you create and use.  

Record Schedules are approved by the State Public Records Board and is the only resource for determining the duration a record must be maintained.  For example, Meeting Minutes are retained for 3 years, while Student Loan Repayment Records are kept for 7 years. Once this period has been met, if a record is not retained permanently, it is either Transferred to Archives or Destroyed.  We follow the following processes:  Transferring Records or Destroying Records

Records can be transferred to the Archives at any time once the retention period has passed. Records needing confidential destruction are initiated twice a year by the Records Officer.

You CANNOT dispose of a record if the retention period has not been met, nor can you follow a department list for retention.  Your source of truth is the approved record schedule unless the record is considered a Disposable Record and requires no retention. See Locating Record Schedules - Disposable Records for rules on what is classified as "disposable".

Inventory Department Records

Use the Inventory Management Worksheet to inventory your records.  During this assessment you will list your records on the Worksheet and then match these records to an approved record schedule using the Record Schedules List. All records identified in your department should be categorized under an approved Records Schedule.  Once complete, your department will have an accurate inventory that will make the disposal process easier. From this Worksheet, you will be able to quickly identify those records - paper and electronic - that must follow established processes: Transferring Records or Destroying Records.

Set Document Standards

Eventually, many records will make their way to the Archives. Having a system set up with good naming conventions - for BOTH paper and electronic records - will make it easy to store and retrieve records. Avoid acronyms unless it is commonly used and also contains other relevant information. There's nothing worse than trying to find a 10 year old facility use plan that was filed as "J. Doe's Files" or "FP Reviews" and sifting through hundreds of records to find the right one. For either paper or electronic records, the Archives suggest similar formatting standards:

File Name: Student Union Facility Plans 2012

File Name: Clery Act Crime Report Data 2015

Improper Labeling 
File Name: Archives Police Lists
Folder Name: Graduate Research Committee Minutes 2008
File Name: Graduate Research Minutes 01152008
File Name: Graduate Research Minutes 02232008

Improper Labeling
Folder Name: GRC Reports
File Name: GRC January Report
File Name: GRC February Report

My office is going paperless. What do we need to do?

Electronic records are still public records. Electronic records have the same value as a paper record. Treat all electronic records the same way you would paper.  Thinking about Digitizing? There are associated costs in the production of digital files, and current technology records we have in place now, may not be necessarily accessible in the future. Hardware and software required to read such files may become obsolete. Careful planning with IT staff and the Records Officer, will be necessary before you take the next step toward digitization. Read more on digitizing at Universities of Wisconsin Administration Digitization of Information.

Be advised that disposing of electronic records follows the same process used in Transfer to Archives or Records Destruction.  Electronic records required to be retained permanently can be moved to a flash drive and taken to Archives, or, in the case of destruction, can be deleted once noted on a Confidential Destruction Form.