Western Washington University Records Management

Retention schedules | Help guides/training


The goals of University Records Management are as follows:

  • ensure the preservation and accessibility of meaningful records for as long as they are needed

  • ensure the authenticity, reliability, integrity, and usability of records

  • establish effective record-keeping practices in compliance with legal requirements, institutional policy, business needs, and community expectations


University Records Management is mandated primarily by Chapter 40.14 RCW.  The basic tenets of this law that affect records management at Western are as follows:

  • All information created, received, used, or maintained by Western in carrying out its public mission is considered "public record" material

  • The definition of a record is format neutral (it applies equally to all formats, digital or non-digital, regardless of the system in which they reside)

  • All public records must be accounted for and kept according to a retention schedule

  • All retention schedules must be approved by the State Records Committee

  • No public record may be destroyed except as governed by an approved retention schedule


RCW 40.14.040 further assigns responsibility for implementation of these tenets to a designated "Records Officer."  At Western, this is the Records Manager.  The duties of the Records Officer as outlined in RCW 40.14.040 are as follows:

  1. Coordinate all aspects of the records management program.

  2. Inventory, or manage the inventory, of all public records at least once during a biennium for disposition scheduling and transfer action, in accordance with procedures prescribed by the state archivist and state records committee: PROVIDED, That essential records shall be inventoried and processed in accordance with chapter 40.10 RCW at least annually.

  3. Consult with any other personnel responsible for maintenance of specific records within his or her state organization regarding records retention and transfer recommendations.

  4. Analyze records inventory data, examine and compare divisional or unit inventories for duplication of records, and recommend to the state archivist and state records committee minimal retentions for all copies commensurate with legal, financial, and administrative needs.

  5. Approve all records inventory and destruction requests which are submitted to the state records committee.

  6. Review established records retention schedules at least annually to insure that they are complete and current.

  7. Exercise internal control over the acquisition of filming and file equipment.