University offices produce a variety of records on a daily basis, and sometimes departments do not have the staffing, time, or ability to box and ship records to off-site storage with University Archives.
If, due to necessity, you must manage, store, and ultimately dispose of your records in your own office, you are still responsible for following all records management policies and procedures, including ensuring that all records destruction is authorized by the University Archives.
The records management program can now assist you with documenting records destruction with its In-Office Records Destruction form.
This new form:
- Identifies the university records you wish to destroy in your office
- Ensures that you are authorized to destroy official university records
- Documents that university records were destroyed in case of future inquiries
Both the form and detailed instructions can be found online at http://archives.msu.edu/records/destruction.php?records_transfer_destruction.
To document your In-Office Records Destruction:
Complete the following contact information at the top of the form:
- Name of contact person
- Contact person’s phone number and email
- Office/Department name
Archives may need to contact you if there are questions about your records.
Then, identify the record type, date range, volume, and destruction method of the records you have to be destroyed and complete the chart on the form.
- Record type can be determined using the University Records Retention Schedules. You may view the retention schedules online or contact the Archives at 5-2330 with any questions.
- Date range is typically a range in years.
- Volume refers to the amount of records to be destroyed. Paper records are measured in cubic feet. Typically, one file drawer equals two cubic feet of paper records.
- Destruction method refers to how you plan to destroy the records. For paper records, that is usually “Shred”.
Once the form is complete, sign the form, or have your department representative sign the form, and send it for review to University Archives at email@example.com. DO NOT PROCEED WITH RECORDS DESTRUCTION UNTIL YOU RECEIVE ARCHIVES APPROVAL.
The University Records Manager will review the form and contact you if there are questions. Then, the University Archivist will sign the form and approve the records destruction. This process may take 1-3 days, although Archives tries to process the forms as soon as possible.
A signed copy of the form will be emailed to your office. Once you have received a signed form, you may proceed with records destruction.
Please retain a copy of the signed form for your records. Archives will also retain a signed copy of the form.
While completing this process may be a change for many offices, completing the In-Office Records Destruction form will create necessary documentation in case of future records requests and will ensure your office’s compliance with University regulations.
If you have any questions or concerns about the form, please contact University Archives at 5-2330 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Written by Hillary Gatlin, University Records Manager