Frequently Asked Questions about University Records Management

​Who do the Records Management Policy and Records Retention Schedule apply to?

All Central Michigan University units. Each campus unit that creates records is responsible for developing and implementing appropriate records management practices.

Who is responsible for carrying out records management?

Every Central Michigan University unit’s administrator or a designee is responsible for records management. Please refer to the list of responsibilities on the CMU Records Retention Schedule site.

Does my unit need to keep everything we create or receive in the course of carrying out our duties?

Not necessarily.

If your unit is deemed to be the Responsible Unit or the Creator tasked with maintaining specific records, then you must keep those records in accordance with the terms in the Retention Schedule.

If your records are held by your unit for reference or in support of master records that are likely held by another CMU unit, then they are likely “ephemeral records” and you may not need to retain them. “Ephemeral records” are those records with only short-term value – they contain little or no ongoing administrative, fiscal, legal, evidential, or historical value. If you have questions about whether your records are of long-term value or ephemeral, please contact the  Records Management Team.

What happened to the previous Records Retention Schedule?

From 2016 to 2018, the Records Management Team worked to revise the previous document. The goal was to create a Records Retention Schedule based on the type and function of the record as opposed to the individual CMU units. In the end, the Team reduced over 1,000 entries in the previous schedule to about 80 record types. Additionally, the retention terms for the same types of records are now uniform across the entire CMU campus. Since that time, we have continued to review and revise the records schedules to meet statutory requirements, best practices, and the needs of the CMU community.

In the Retention Schedule, what does Individual Responsible Operating Unit mean?

Individual Responsible Operating Units are those units that have a charge to maintain a specific record type according to the CMU Records Retention Schedule. Each unit is responsible for establishing and implementing appropriate records management practices, disposing of materials when appropriate, and transferring materials of historical value to the University Archives at the end of the records' usefulness.

Is there a different Records Management Policy or Retention Schedule for paper vs. digital records?

No. All records, no matter what their format, are governed by the same Policy and the same Retention Schedule.

What record types specifically apply to faculty and academic departments?

As with all Central Michigan University units, academic departments and faculty should be aware of the entire schedule. With that in mind, the specific record types that academic departments and faculty are most likely* to encounter are:

Academic Student Records (S11, S13, S14)

Administrative Records (A1, A2, A7, A9, A11, A12)

Business Records (B1, B5)

*These are not the only record types that may be encountered by faculty or academic departments, nor will they necessarily encounter all of the record types listed.

How do I transfer materials to the University Archives?

Please contact the Records Management Team to discuss transferring your unit's archives to the Clarke Historical Library.

Where are the University Archives?

The Clarke Historical Library is home to the Central Michigan University Archives.

Who should I contact if I have questions about records management, records retention, or transferring materials to the University Archives?

You can send your questions to the Records Management Team.

What should I do if I think the information in the Records Retention Schedule (e.g., record types, retention periods, how to handle the records at the end of the term, etc.) is incomplete or inaccurate?

Please get in touch with the Records Management Team to discuss this further.

I'm not sure that the records I am working with fall under the Retention Schedule, what should I do?

Send the Records Management Team an e-mail and we will be happy to work with you and your records.