Records Management

Records Management is the systematic and administrative control of records throughout their life cycle to ensure efficiency and economy in their creation, use, handling, control, maintenance, and disposition. Applying records management in your office creates a more efficient and less cluttered work space, provides legal protection in the event of litigation, and helps the university document its function and history. ALL university employees are responsible for management and retention of their records according to approved schedules.

The UWSP Records Manager can assist your office with active records maintenance, creating records retention schedules, confidential destruction, archival transfer, and records retrieval of documents already in the archives. For more information, contact Brad Casselberry, University Records Manager, at or 715-346-3234.

 Records Retention FAQ

What Is a Records Retention/Disposition Authorization (RDA)?

A Records Retention/Disposition Authorization (RDA), also referred to as a retention schedule, contains instructions as to the length of time, location, and form in which records series are to be kept and the method of filing records series.

The State of Wisconsin uses Records Retention/Disposition Authorizations to implement records policy. Once approved, an RDA becomes the legal basis for the disposition of records. In other words, an RDA approved for a particular records series, or group of related records, gives offices legal authorization to retain, destroy, or transfer records.

The State's Public Records Board (PRB) is responsible for the final approval of all RDAs. The Board's responsibilities are described under Wisconsin Statute 16.61, also referred to as the Public Records Law. As a state agency, UW-Stevens Point must conform to the provisions of Chapter 16.61 regarding the retention and disposition of state agency records.

Under Chapter 16.61 state agencies should submit retention schedules for all public records series in their custody to the PRB for approval within one year after a records series has been created.

RDAs expire or "sunset" after ten years to allow for the periodic re-evaluation of a records series. At that time the RDA must be updated and resubmitted to the PRB for approval.

There are generally two types of retention schedules: general, campus-wide RDAs and RDAs that are division or department specific. A scheduled records table listing records common to UW-Stevens Point offices is available from the Archives. Copies of department-specific RDAs may also be requested from the Archives.

Questions about records schedules or the scheduling of university records should be directed to the University Archives at 715-346-3234.

Conditions Affecting Final Disposition

All recommended dispositions stated within these schedules may be carried out by the office without further consultation or approval from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Archives, Administrative Legal Services or Internal Audit with the following exceptions:

  1. Records Request: If an open records request has been made with an office for any item or items in this schedule, the Open Records Law (Sec.19.35 (5) Wis. Stats.) forbids the destruction of any record until the request is granted or until at least sixty days after the date that the request is denied. Court orders may extend this time period. The University's legal records custodian can advise offices on specific requests for access (Sec.19.33 and 19.34, Wis. Stats.).
  2. Pending Litigation or Audit: It is the department's responsibility to determine if an audit or pending litigation will involve any records listed in a Records Disposition Authorization, and to suspend any disposition until such time as the audit or litigation is completed.

 Common Record Groups

UWSP Student Organization Records

What Is the University Archives?

The Archives preserves University records and information about the University that are of permanent historical value and makes these materials available to researchers.

Why Is the Archives Interested in Student Organization Records?

Students are the heart of the University. Student organization records document the historical development of student life, activities, and interests on the UWSP campus and the surrounding community. Student organization records also document the purpose of an organization's existence, whether for student recreation, social, religious, political, cultural, or professional development. Campus student organizations also reflect the views of local, national, and international students to society and the world around them. These records and the perspectives they represent are valuable to researchers of today and tomorrow.

What Types of University Student Organization Records Does the Archives Collect?

The Archives is interested in acquiring materials documenting the history of campus student organizations and their activities. Student organization records of historical value include: constitutions and by-laws, brochures, student newspapers and newsletters, photographs, minutes, correspondence, and similar materials documenting student organization activities.

When Should Student Organizations Contact the Archives about Their Records?

Student organizations should contact the Archives whenever they have questions about the disposition of their records. Inactive records, including records of defunct student organizations, may be candidates for transfer to the Archives. The Archives will help student organizations determine what to do with their records. If records are determined to be of historical value, the Archives will assist in preparing records for transfer to the Archives.

Please contact the Archives with questions! See our main page for contact information.

 Transferring Records to the Archives

Basic Procedures for Preparing and Transferring Records

  1. Consult the Archives (x2586) to insure that your records are scheduled for transfer to the Archives.
    • We need to know what types of records you are transferring to the Archives (i.e. subject files, committee records, personnel files, etc.).  
    • To insure that the records reach the Archives, we need to know how many boxes you are transferring and when you or Central Stores will deliver them.
    • You need to complete the Records Transfer and Inventory Form.
  2. Preparing Records for Transfer to the Archives.
    • Maintain the original order of the records.
    • Discard blank forms. Remove duplicate copies of documents.  One copy is sufficient.
    • Remove drafts of documents.  Retain only the final version unless there is none, then send the last draft.
    • Discard convenience copies of publications, reports, memos, etc., for which your office was not the originator or the office of record.
  3. Boxing the Records Scheduled for Transfer to the Archives.
    • If sending confidential records to the Archives, tape the box shut.
    • Clearly label the boxes:
      • Deliver To: Archives, Library, Room 506
      • From: Your department & name
    • Need boxes?  Boxes can be purchased at Shop@UW. Click on UW-Madison MDS Warehouse, Office Supplies, and Record Storage Boxes.
  4. Complete the Records Transfer and Inventory Form.
    • Fill out the form as accurately as possible.  The Archives uses the information you provide to retrieve records requested by your office.
    • See our sample copy of a completed form.
  5. Arrange Delivery of your Records to the Archives.
    • If you have a large number of boxes call Central Stores (x3897 or 4500) to arrange for pick up.  There is a nominal fee for this service.  Please specify that the boxes must be delivered to the Archives (Room 506), not the Library’s basement.
    • You may deliver small amounts of material to the Archives during our regular hours of operation.

 Additional Records Management Resources

 Electronic Records Management