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Records Management


What defines a record?

NDCC 54-46-02 defines a record as "A document, book, paper, photograph, sound recording or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law in connection with the transaction of official business."

A record is anything that:

  • Your office created;
  • Your office acted on;
  • Your office receives it for action;
  • Your office is designated as the custodian of (i.e. record-holder);
  • Your office needs to document its decisions.

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Are emails considered records?

Email is a method of communication that is no different than a paper record.

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How long should emails be kept?

NDSU has been advised that the University System will be responsible for a technical solution that will manage compliance with the new email retention requirements without the need for action by each employee. Accordingly, all NDSU employees are being asked to continue to follow their regular retention procedures for all records, including emails. In other words, continue to treat an email in accordance with the record series associated with its content.

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How do I know if I am the Office of Record?

The office or department that holds the official version of the record is the Office of Record.  This is usually, but not necessarily the creating unit or person.  Records are maintained for administrative, legal, fiscal or requlatory reasons, or to document business transactions.

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Who is responsible for managing records and information?

Everyone is.

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How often do I need to review my records for disposal?


  • Review your records inventory.
  • If any new record series have been created, add them to the records schedule in consultation with the NDSU Director of Records Management.
  • Properly dispose of records in accordance with the disposal guidelines in the current record retention schedule.

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Can I keep records longer than the published retention period?

No. Records must be managed in accordance with North Dakota state law.

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What resources are available to answer questions?

If you have other questions:

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Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Site Manager: NDSU Records Management Coordinator
Published by NDSU Records Management

Last Updated: Monday, October 05, 2015 9:15:44 AM