Records Retention and Management

Overview

The University of Alaska Fairbanks maintains a wide variety of Records in both paper and electronic forms.  These records are essential to the mission of UAF and must be created, maintained and destroyed according to the policies established by the UA Board of Regents.  These policies can be found at the UA Records and Information office (RIM).

Not all documents that are received, utilized or distributed by UAF are considered university records.  Most of those that are considered official university records are listed in Record Retention Schedules housed by UA RIM. Retention Schedules are available for several functional areas including:

  • Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Admissions & Registration
  • Financial Aid

These schedules outline the types of documents that are considered to be Records, how they are stored in OnBase and the amount of time each kind of record is kept before it is deleted and/or destroyed.  Retention schedules are reviewed periodically and revised.

OnBase

Access to OnBase is granted in the same way as access to Banner.  Fill out the appropriate Access Request Form for your functional area (Student, HR, Finance, International) and submit it to one of the UAF Security Coordinators.  In this form, in the Other Banner Access Needed area, list the types of documents in OnBase that you need access to or, if you know them, list the access classes .  Contact the UAF OnBase admin or your security coordinator if you have questions about what to apply for.

There are still several kinds of documents that have either not been fully defined as records, or have not yet been added to OnBase.  If your department would like to discuss how OnBase can be used to help maintain your documents and records, please contact the OnBase administrator.

Record Destruction

It is important to note that UAF does not normally keep records indefinitely.  Every document has a defined lifecycle and will eventually be eligible for destruction.  Documents that are under audit or are otherwise subject to legal review will not be destroyed until such time as the review or audit is completed and the document is at the end of its lifecycle.

There are many different ways to destroy documents and it is important to track when, how and by whom this destruction was accomplished.   Tracking for UAF documents is done with the Certificate of Destruction (COD) and (if needed) COD Continuation Sheets.  The COD forms are intended to be used as collections of documents are destroyed.  It is up to each department to determine what defines a collection of documents and how these collections are tracked.   Some departments will track individual personnel folders while others might have a shared volume that has scanned receipts in it and all receipts are purged monthly.  Your department should document what constitutes a collection for the records it maintains.  

Note that just because your department has copies of records, it might not be the home for those records.  For example, grant documentation belongs to OGCA and the official copies are maintained by OGCA even if a PI might happen to have a copy of their own grant documentation.  Copies of records that are given to departments for reference do not need to be included in the COD -- only the official copies need to be on the COD. 

Departments that have records that need to be tracked on a COD should keep a running copy of that COD and fill it in as collections are destroyed.  Each time, enter:

  • The date a collection was destroyed
  • The type(s) of records in the collection
  • How the collection was destroyed
  • Any identification (UAID, series #, month, etc) for the collection destroyed
  • The initials of the person doing the destruction

At the end of the fiscal year, the designated records person at the department should sign and date any completed or in-progress CODs and then file them for future review.  

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