Records Management

Labeled boxes of records.

The University of Kansas has a long history of managing its records. The University Archives has gathered, organized, and preserved KU's official and unofficial records since its inception in 1969.

In 2010, the University adopted a General Retention Schedule. The schedule is a list of records commonly found in the various schools, departments, and units of the University. It details how long records need to be kept, and what should be done with the records once the retention period has been met.

A records transfer form (pdf) should be completed for records being transferred to University Archives. Archives staff should also be contacted ahead of time to arrange a delivery date and time for the transfer of the records.

General Retention Schedule

The University of Kansas’ General Retention Schedule was adopted in 2010. The schedule is a list of records commonly found in the various schools, departments, and units of the University. It details the minimum length of time records need to be kept, and what should be done with the records once the retention period has been met.

The objective of the schedule is to:

  • To assure the identification and protection of vital university records.
  • To ensure compliance with all applicable records laws.
  • To provide clear guidance on the length of time to retain records to help manage risk.
  • To identify the appropriate disposition for all records.
    • Destroy records that no longer have administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical value.
    • Transfer to University Archives records that have enduring value and have met their minimum retention.

Elements of the Schedule

Records schedules include several key pieces of information.

  • Records class: the type of records (e.g. administrative, financial, etc.)
  • Record series title and description: a specific record and an explanation of the record and/or the types of documents found within the record
  • Location of where the official copy resides
  • Retention: the period of time the record needs to be kept
  • Disposition: what happens to the record once it’s retention period
  • Comments: additional information regarding the records

Transferring Records to University Archives

The first step in preparing to transfer records to University Archives is to review the University’s general schedule to see if the records fall under one of the items listed. If the records do not appear to be part of the schedule, contact Archives staff.

Next, determine if the records to be transferred have already met the minimum retention period.

  • If so, the records should be securely destroyed.
  • If there is one year or less left on the retention period, keep the records in office and securely destroy once the retention has been met.
  • If there is more than one year left, the records can be transferred to Archives.

Then you are ready to prepare the records for transfer. Here are a few tips:

  • The boxes will hold letter and legal size folders.
  • Hanging file folders in boxes is strongly discouraged.
  • More than one series can go into a box.
  • Do not overfill the box. The lid should fit securely on the box without the use of tape.
  • We recommend preparing a box list of the contents to be included with each box. This will benefit you as well as Archives staff.

University Archives has boxes that departments and organizations can pick up for use in transferring records to the archives. Please contact the Archives to arrange for picking up boxes.

Labeling Boxes

Label the side of the box, under the handle, on the end that file labels are viewable inside. Labels should include the following information:

  • Department/Unit/Organization name
  • The type of records (e.g. student files)
  • The dates of the records in the box (when applicable)

Now it is time to fill out the records transfer form (pdf). Please supply as much of the information on the form as possible.

Note: The University’s General Retention Schedule includes the retention length and final disposition for records listed on it.

The final step in transferring records to University Archives is to contact the Archives, a minimum of 24 hours in advance, to arrange a date and time for the delivery of the records.

Requesting Archived Records

Departmental units may request archived records by emailing (preferred) or calling the Archives. Please included the unit name, file name, date, and any additional information regarding the file that may help in locating it. Requested files may be picked up or can be sent to the unit via campus mail.