Records Management

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. 

The UWRF Records Management Program assists departments and employees in identifying and managing records and information assets used in the course of university business. It is imperative that all records, regardless of form, are managed according to legal, historical, regulatory, and operational requirements. 

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Records Management Program is mandated and governed by UWRF Administrative Policy 01-201 and the UW Board of Regents Policy 3-2.


  • Records Retention and Disposition is an essential business activity. It should be carried out as part of regular business processes. In order to apply these practices, all records must have an approved records retention schedule.
  • Electronic Records, just like paper records, document university business and must be managed, retained, and disposed of accordingly. This includes electronic records in shared and local networks, external storage hard drives, cloud storage services, and information systems.
  • Permanent Records are considered historically significant to the university and community. While a majority of records will be disposed of, some records disposition indicates that records must be transferred to the University Archives.
  • Records Management Services are available to assist the campus community with implementing good recordkeeping practices. Check out some of our online resources, or set up a consultation. Email or call 715-425-4968.


Frequently Asked Questions


In accordance with Wis. Stat. 16.61(2)b, “Public records" means all books, papers, maps, photographs, films, recordings, optical discs, electronically formatted documents, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by any state agency or its officers or employees in connection with the transaction of public business.


Wis. Stat 16.61(b) also indicates what is not a public record, these include:

  • Duplicate copies of materials which are maintained only for convenience or reference
  • Reference materials
  • Unsolicited notices or invitations
  • Drafts, notes, preliminary computations and like materials prepared for the originator's personal use or prepared by the originator in the name of a person for whom the originator is working
  • Routing slips and envelopes

Records must be kept in accordance with approved records retention schedules. Records retention is the legal minimum amount of time that a record must be kept and cannot be disposed of prior meeting the scheduled retention. The retention of a record is determined based on legal, fiscal, and administrative requirements. Records retention schedules are searchable here or email Records Manager

Records retention schedules also determine what is to be done with a record once it has met retention. This is called Disposition, and one of three actions will occur.

  • Delete/Recycle
  • Destroy Confidential
  • Transfer to Archives

Applying records retention and disposition should be a part of regular business practice.

Yes! Both email and text messages record business activity and are considered records. Click here for more information on retaining business communications. 

Just like records destruction, transfer of records for permanent preservation at the University Archives should occur as a regular business process. Other events, however, may require early intervention such as departing staff and faculty, or department moves. Before sending records, please email archives@uwrf or call 715-425-3567.

Contact Us

University Archives and Area Research Center
170 Chalmer Davee Library
(715) 425-3567