Our Shared Responsibility to Manage Records

April 14, 2021

The following message was sent to all faculty, staff, and graduate employees.

Dear colleagues,

As a public institution, the University of Oregon is responsible for ensuring the orderly management and retention of all records related to the institution. As an employee of the university, you have a number of obligations related to managing records created in the course of your daily work. University Records Management has resources available to help you manage and retain your records following the university’s Records Retention Schedule.

What is a Record?

A record means any information that:

  1. Is prepared, owned, used, or retained by the university;
  2. Relates to an activity, transaction, or function of the university; and
  3. Is necessary to satisfy the fiscal, legal, administrative, or historical policies, requirements, or needs of the university.

In practice this looks like all the paper, email, spreadsheets, digital images or video, and other material that we make, receive, file, or record at the university in connection with the transaction of any university business or activity or pursuant to law, whether confidential or restricted in use or access, are considered records.

However, only some records are subject to strict preservation requirements. The University of Oregon Records Retention Schedule lists the kinds of records subject to very specific preservation requirements. Learn more about identifying and managing records on the Records Management website.

Recent Changes: Chat Auto-Retention

In the last few years, the university has adopted several digital tools to help employees collaborate. Usage of these services has accelerated during the university’s switch to remote operations. Although work may be happening over digital tools, you are still producing records that need to be managed.

To help you do this, University Records Management partnered with Information Services to create an auto-retention process for chat messages sent over Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Skype for Business. Auto-retention will automatically delete chat messages after 180 days, or the general period of two academic terms.

Not all of these programs’ chat services will be affected by auto-retention. For more information about what will be affected and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the chat retention webpage. Auto-retention will go into effect on June 30, 2021. All chats 180 days or older (sent before January 1, 2021) will be deleted and will not be able to be recovered.

Questions and Resources

If you have questions about records management or would like to learn more, visit the Records Management website or email your questions to records@uoregon.edu.


University Records Management