Records Stewards

Following the University Records Management policy, records stewards guide the systematic maintenance and disposal of records and work within their units to support employees in managing their records. The stewards serve as a resource for their units and work directly with University Records Management to implement retention processes following university policy.

During the records management implementation project, vice presidents and deans assigned records stewards for all the university's administrative and academic units. The stewards work closely with University Records Management to implement best practices and retention processes in their units.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the responsibilities of the Records Steward?

Per the policy, Records Stewards guide the systematic maintenance and disposal of records in their units; serve as a resource to others in their units/departments/programs; and complete annual Records Management training. Records Stewards are not responsible for all of the records in any unit, but will work with Records Management and the faculty and staff in their units to document information about the records their units maintain in a uniform way.

I'm a department administrator and I already feel like I wear 15 hats. Will being a records steward add a lot of extra work?

If you are a department administrator, it is very likely that you already have some records management responsibilities for your unit. Being a records steward will provide you with a framework, tools, and a community of practice to do that work. Know that we've planned the records steward program with you in mind.

The university’s records management program will communicate with records stewards via a listserv, where they will receive information and training to develop recordkeeping procedures for their unit, inventory their unit’s records, and ensure the appropriate dispositioning of unit records. Importantly, records stewards will not be expected to inventory individual documents. Rather, they will coordinate with the faculty and staff in their units to document what they have in terms of groups of like records, and where they are stored. For example, a line in the inventory might look like: FY18 financial records. Filing cabinet in X building, Room #. We are working on developing an inventory template for records stewards to use. When records subject to retention are destroyed, that must be documented on a destruction log. Email for a template destruction log.

How are Records Stewards assigned? At what level?

All VPs and deans were asked to assign Records Stewards for all academic and administrative units during the records management implementation project. The records steward should be someone that is knowledgeable about their unit's records, and in a position to gather information from faculty and staff in their unit.

At a minimum, all academic and administrative units that report directly to a dean or VP or the president should have a records steward, but depending on the structure in your unit, it may make sense to assign additional stewards. We strongly recommend assigning stewards down to the smallest unit/program that makes sense to distribute the work of the inventory, and so that people only have to become an expert about a limited number of records categories, also known as "series" on the Records Retention Schedule.

Consider how information is maintained in your units. Is there a shared drive that one group uses? If so, that group should probably have its own records steward. For example, English department files are no doubt kept separate from the Math department’s files, so it would make sense to have a Records Steward for English, and another for Math.