Records Management


What you need to know about Records Management

The Records Management Program at Central Washington University provides information for the identification, management, and preservation of active, inactive, and archival records. The program operates under Public Records Law, RCW 40.14 (Preservation and Destruction of Public Records) and RCW 40.10 (Protection of Essential Records).

University records by statutory definition are public property and must be maintained, transferred, and destroyed according to records retention schedules approved by the State Records Committee.

The following two record retention schedules should be used to manage University public records:

CWU Record Retention Schedule
This Schedule contains record retention's specific to Central Washington University records.

WA State General Records Retention Schedule
This Schedule contains records series retention's common to all Washington State Government agencies.

Record Management


Important Information
  • Record Destruction Procedures

    For primary University records (those records created or received in the course of University business):

    • To destroy primary University records in any format (paper, electronic, audio, etc.) you must submit a Destruction Request Form (MS WORD), which must be fully signed prior to disposal of the records.
    • Locate the appropriate record series on the CWU General Records Retention Schedule or your office unique records retention schedule and enter the corresponding Disposition Authority Number in the DAN column of your destruction request
    • On Campus Shred Service is provided every two weeks at a low cost.

    For Secondary/Transitory Records:

    • In most cases secondary copies are for administrative use only and can be destroyed prior to the retention period of the primary record.
    • Examples of Common Records with Minimal Retention (PDF)
    • If the records are documenting financial or legal transactions, our Internal Auditor recommends that office keep their copies for 1 year for audit purposes to avoid having to gather the originals from other offices (i.e. Purchasing, Accounting, Travel).

    All records containing confidential information must be shredded – including secondary copies.

  • CWU Shred Schedule

    Shred takes place every other Thursday:

    • May 9 & 23
    • June 6 & 20
    • July 3 & 18
    • August 1, 15 & 29
    • September 12 & 26
  • Record Storage/Transfer Information

    Non-Archival Records that have not met their required retention period can be boxed up, labeled and stored in one of our records storage rooms on campus. Based on quantity and space, our office will determine the best storage location for your records. You can access them anytime by checking out a key from our office.

    To transfer University records, you must submit a Transfer Request Form (MS WORD), which must be fully signed prior to the transfer of the records. Once the retention has been met, you will be contacted to make transfer arrangements.

    Note: Archival Records follow the same transfer process, however they will be sent to the CWU Archives for permanent retention.

    Contact our office if you need boxes and/or labels.

  • Forms | Resources
  • Basics of Managing Electronic Records
  • Record Retention Information for a Remote Work Environment

    As CWU employees, we all have the responsibility to properly care and manage our records. This is especially important as most of us are working remotely. Below is some brief but important information to help fulfill our records management obligation:

    Records created for University Business must be retained, regardless of how and where they were created.

    Recommendations while working from home:

    • If you are using personal devices to create and manage your CWU Records, please contact the CWU help desk to acquire VPN access (VPN is a remote access technology that allows you to securely connect to CWU's network as if you were on campus). One benefit is that you can save your records directly to the CWU network.
    • If you are unable to have remote access or use of a CWU computer, please ensure the records are being retained and stored so they can be transferred back to your CWU computer when allowed.

    It’s important to remember that a record can come in several formats and the retention is based on the content/mission of that record: Formats can include: Paper, electronic data, emails, text messages, instant messenger, audio/video recorded meetings, websites, databases, etc.

  • Managing Covid-19 Pandemic Records
  • Basics of Managing Social Media Records
  • Record Retention FAQ

    Who is responsible for managing records?

    Everyone! Each University employee possesses the primary responsibility for the proper care and management of their University public records (this includes paper and electronic records). Supervisors have a responsibility to assure that their employees properly manage their public records.

    In addition, each Department should have a Records Coordinator assigned to take responsibility for the physical inventory of all CWU records. It is the coordinators responsibility to work directly with our department to ensure the proper steps are being taken to identify, destroy, or transfer records when the retention period has been met.

    Do I have to complete paperwork to destroy my records, and how do I go about destroying my records?

    Yes, to destroy primary University records in any format (paper, electronic, audio, etc.) you must submit a Destruction Request Form, which must be fully signed prior to disposal of the records. Send the completed form to Kerrie Nelson at MS 7474 for review and processing. Once approved, a copy will be sent back to you and arrangements will be made to destroy the records.

    What is the retention period for certain records?

    To determine the DAN and retention period on the form, we use the Washington State General Records Retention Schedule and the CWU General Records Retention Schedule Additionally we create Unique Retention Schedules if departmental records do not fall within the two General Records Retention schedules.

    If you need additional help identifying an appropriate record series, contact Kerrie Nelson at (509) 963-2308

    What are the next steps and how do I arrange for the shredding company to come to our department?

    Once the Transfer/Destruction form is completed and signed by the Department head, please forward to Business Services and for additional signatures from the University Records Officer and University Archivist. The final signed copy will be returned to you for your records. Once you have received your completed copy you may properly destroy the approved records. You may shred the approved records yourself or contact Business Services 963-2308 to schedule the shredding truck to come to your location.

    What if I don't have room to store my records for the required retention period?

    We have three storage locations on campus. Please contact Business Services to see which location would best suit your storage needs. A transfer form must be completed and approved prior to the records being moved.

    Where can I get archive boxes?

    Business Services has several empty used boxes, just call (509) 963-2308 to arrange for delivery or pickup.

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