Records Management Tips - Returning to the Office

Many of us will return to work at on-campus locations. What should you do with your UC records? Here  are some important tips from the UC Records Management Committee.

Bring UC Records Back to Campus

When you return to work on site, return hard copy or digital records to your official record-keeping systems, whether electronic storage or hard copy filing. 

Safeguard UC records

         Understand the sensitivity of the information you create and use, and take appropriate precautions to safeguard the information when returning to the workplace.

         This includes taking steps to secure paper files, computers, and other devices while in transit, avoid stops that would leave records and devices unsecured and unattended.

Keep personal papers at home

         Personal papers are records you created or received that do not relate to university business. This    includes hard copy material like family information, bills, financials, or other non-university related records. 

Take Care when Purging and Destroying Records

Prior to destroying or purging a record, identify and confirm the appropriate retention period. Active records should be returned to the appropriate university system, or if retention has lapsed, properly disposed of in accordance with university policy. 

If you need assistance regarding how to destroy records, please contact your local records management coordinator

Inventory UC records

         Elements of a helpful records inventory include: record type, active and inactive record location(s), and the time frame required to retain records. This inventory may also indicate how you will dispose of the          records when retention is no longer required, and the departmental administrator responsible for records and maintaining the inventory.

Review, re-evaluate access requirements, and identify inactive records

         Inactive records are records that are no longer required for day-to-day business operations and may be obsolete. At the end of their active use, records should be removed from active systems and from office space storage. 

Identify the retention period for records

         The UC Records Retention Schedule identifies records by function and provides retention periods for various administrative records. We are all responsible for complying with the retention schedule. 

Dispose of Inactive Records

Purge and destroy records once the retention period inactive records has lapsed.

Records subject to a litigation hold, or are requested pursuant to the California Public Records Act, an investigation, ongoing audit, or other legal process, even if inactive, should not be purged. If you have any questions about preservation of records for legal purposes, please contact the Office of the Chief Campus Counsel. 

Purge old electronic files

         Review electronic records and purge those with lapsed retention periods.

Purge old paper files

  • Review paper records and destroy those with lapsed retention periods.
  • Recycle non-sensitive paper records that do not require shredding. Sensitive or confidential information that, if accessed or used inappropriately, could adversely affect the university, its partners, or the public, must not be recycled.
  • Destroy records containing personally identifiable, protected health, proprietary, confidential, or sensitive information in a secure manner, such as secure shredding. 

Transfer Inactive Records to Storage

When retention for inactive records has not lapsed, transfer the records out of active file storage areas.

Records with finite retention periods

  • Transfer paper records to an off-site records storage center. UC has a systemwide agreement with Iron Mountain to store inactive records at their facilities. If you choose Iron Mountain as your storage solution, please follow your location’s procedures for records transfer.
  • Ensure electronic records are labeled or tagged with the appropriate retention period so they can be scheduled for deletion. 

Records requiring permanent retention

         Consult with your university archivist for appropriate transfer procedures. 

Talk with your records management coordinator

If you have questions about the records retention schedule, how to destroy records, what storage system  to use, or anything related to records management, contact your Records Management Coordinator, visit  the UC Davis Records Management Program or email


Will you work remotely permanently or are you moving to a “hybrid” onsite/offsite schedule?

Read: Working Remotely? Up Your Digital Records Management Game