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University Records Management

This guide, hosted by the Brandeis University Records Management (URM) program, provides information on records management best practices, URM services, and Brandeis responsibilities.

Why Manage Records?

Because, to quote information governance specialist Randy Kahn: 

Signpost indicating order or chaos

"[We] can’t keep everything forever."

  • Keeping obsolete information may expose an institution to legal risk.
  • Keeping unnecessary records accumulates unnecessary costs associated with the management, back-up, and storage of unnecessary information.
  • While e-storage may have lower upfront cost and offers potentially limitless additional capacity, the costs of maintenance and migration issues add up over time.
  • Storing records you no longer need takes up space (physically and electronically), and makes it more difficult to find the records you need.
  • “Just in case” is generally not a legitimate retention need.

Conversely, "[We] can’t get rid of everything tomorrow."

  • Legal rules and regulations require some records to be kept for certain periods of time.
  • In the event of litigation or an audit, we have a responsibility to produce certain records promptly and efficiently.
  • There may be ongoing operational needs for some older documents.
  • Certain records have archival value and should be retained permanently.