What is the Records Retention Disposition Log?


I know it has to be confusing trying to decipher between a Records Retention Disposition Request Form and a Log. Hopefully, this post and the one previously on the Disposition Request Form will help clear things up for ya.

Review: The Disposition Request is the form completed by each department. Departments include which records are up for disposal in their department, according to the Records Retention Schedule. This is a request to dispose of the records. When this form is turned into the Records Management department, departments are not yet allowed to disposed of any records, without the completed approvals from the Records Management Officer and the University Archivist.

Note, saying you disposed of the records is one thing but actually showing that you have is another subject. Once a department has received the approval to dispose of their records, they must then document that they did dispose of the records. Keep in mind that the approval is to show a departments complete understanding of the Records Retention Schedule. For more information on the Records Retention Disposition Request Form please see one of our previous posts.

The Disposition Log requires dates of disposal and method type. The log also records any notes that the Archivist’s made about your departments records. The packet has several pages of detailed instructions. Please be sure and read through those carefully before completing and turning in the Disposition Log.

In short, the Disposition Log is how we’re documenting that departments have actually disposed of their records, once permission has been given.

When reports are created on the compliance to the Records Management Laws, within each department, the Disposition Logs will serve as evidence of that. Same as the Disposition Request Form, be on the look out for a training video on how to complete the Disposition Log.

What is the Records Retention Disposition Request Form?

Hi everyone!

We’ve created a new Disposition Request Form for Records Retention! YAY! What does that mean? It means that the old disposal form used back in March through May of 2017 is out and this new form is in.

  • Why do we have a new form?
    • The previous disposal form was not user friendly. (you probably agree with this)
    • The signatures at the bottom of the page made it confusing as to what individuals were signing for
    • The form was too broad, which meant that there were multiple errors.

We take responsibility for the lack of ease with the previous form, primarily because trainings were not offered specifically on how to fill out the form. With that said, the new form is more user friendly and will have a training video to accompany it.

  • Why do you have to fill out the form?
    • We’re ensuring that departments understand Records Management, the Schedule, and what is required of them.
    • The form also serves as a buffer. If someone assumes that FE+4 means August 31, 2013, we’ll have problems. When turning in the forms, the Records Management department has a chance to correct these minor errors to say that FE+4 actually means August 31, 2012.
  • Why does it matter how correct we are on the forms and in our understanding?
    • It’s extremely important that the departments across the campuses dispose of their records on time. This means that getting rid of paperwork or computer files before the Schedule allows you too, is a violation of the Records Management laws. Just as well, if you never destroy paperwork or computer files you’re also in violation of the laws.

If you ever have any questions about the forms/paperwork used in the overall Records Management program at Sul Ross, please feel free to contact us.

Stay tuned for a training video on how to fill out the Disposition Request Form!


What’s the difference between Records Management and Records Retention?


Records Management Laws are what is required by the Texas legislature of all State institutions. The definition of records management is as follows,

” the application of management techniques to the creation, use, maintenance, retention, preservation, and destruction of state records…

for the purpose of improving the efficency of recordkeeping, ensuring access to public information under Chapter 552, and reducing costs.” (Government Code, Chapter 441, Subchapter L, Section 441.180)

As you can see from the definition, retention is just one part to the definition of records management. Records Retention refers to the RR Schedule that all state employees must adhere to.

“Records retention is the way by which state records are managed.”

Records Management is used to describe the entire program being implemented here at Sul Ross. The program includes an updated Records Retention Schedule, inventories, trainings, one-on-one consultations, and archival review of state records.

The more you know! 🙂

What are all of those forms?

Hello everyone!

The Records Management web page on the Sul Ross website will be arriving shortly. Before that happens I want to elaborate on the forms themselves and which ones will be required. (Links will be installed into this post as soon as the web page goes live)

  1. Records Retention Disposition Request Form
    • This form is the new Disposal Form that was previously required. This form was recreated to explain the process better. These forms are intended for disposition request. Departments are requesting permission from the Records Management Division to dispose of their state records.
    • Why do you have to have permission? To ensure that records are being disposed of and that they’re being disposed of correctly. The records being requested for disposition are subject to the Schedule. The Records Management Division (RMD) offers a second glance at the records that will potentially be lost forever. Retention periods are tested against the date ranges provided by the departments.
  2. Record Retention Schedule Amendment Request Form
    • If you’ve gone through the Schedule and noticed some of the items listed are no longer used in the department. Perhaps you’ve looked at the Schedule and found that some of the current retention periods do not accurately demonstrate how long an important record should be kept or disposed of.
    • The Amendment Request offers departments the chance to record any changes (additions or deletions) that they’d like to make from the Schedule. When the new Schedule is approved, these additions and deletions will no longer be allowed.
    • This form offers extensive instructions.
  3. Inventory Request Form
    • Those that have been to the training’s know a little bit about the inventory process. The inventory request form will help the Records Management Division organize inventory requests and improve the efficiency of the on site inventories.
    • The form consists of several parts.
      1. Requester information 
        • For a single inventory date (one day at a time) only two individuals in a department will receive an inventory. If you’re scheduling for your entire department, please be aware that two offices or office spaces will be done one day and the other two can be done the next. Special circumstances such as a department which has three individuals in the department may have one inventory date.
      2. Job Description
        • The job description is required of all requester’s. This is to help the RMD determine which records an individual may be creating based on items listed on the Schedule.
        • If you’re unsure where to find your job description, Human Resources has them listed on the website.
      3. Office Floor Plan
        • The purpose of this next part is to shorter the amount of time spent in the inventory process. With a floor plan the RMD will have an easier and faster time, helping the requester’s locate their records. When the inventory begins the floor plan will be used as a bouncing off point. The locations of records listed on the floor plan will be checked off so that records do not go overlooked.
        • The floor plan does not have to be perfect. Please do not take photos and send them via email. The preferred format is a paper drawing with lots of boxes and squares indicating furniture. From there the requester can write in where files are located. If you’d like to see a sample floor plan, email Kayla Waggoner at kayla.waggoner@sulross.edu.
      4. List of Records
        • In this section the requester can list what types of records their creating on a daily basis or where they are managing the records. Paper files are okay to list but really the RMD is looking for some knowledge on the part of the requester as to where records are created.
        • If you create requisitions for your department, list Banner. If you’re department is on SharePoint, list SharePoint and OneDrive. Do you manage the department’s web page? What about the social media accounts.
        • Requester’s should pause and think about how records are created and where they are maintained during their life cycle.
    • If you have any questions about the inventory process there’s a few things to do.
      1. Be looking for posts on this blog that discuss the inventory process.
      2. Attend one of the training’s titled “Conducting an Inventory”.
      3. Call Kayla Waggoner (x8124) for more information.

If you have any other questions along the way, feel free to contact us.

Difference between Correspondence Administrative and General

Almost every department on campus has a Correspondence – Administrative (1.1.007) and a Correspondence – General (1.1.008) on their section of the Records Retention Schedule (RRS). But you may be wondering what is considered “correspondence” and how do I know if I fall under Administrative or General? Look no further, we’re got some helpful tips to help decipher these record series titles.

Firstly, correspondence ranges from official memorandum to unofficial chat discussions on Blackboard or Skype Business. However, where you’re going to frequently see correspondence is your Sul Ross email. Everyday each state employee is sending several emails (hundreds if you count the fs_all routes) that either directly or indirectly relate to their job. After an email has been classified as a record, individuals are responsible to maintain these based on the Records Retention Schedule. For details on the email classification system you’re encouraged to attend or watch one of the E-Records training’s. If you’re curious about the emails as they are only a format of a record, please contact us for more information at any time.

The following is a break down of the two correspondences provided by TSLAC on their blog, The Texas Record as well as the general definition provided by the commission.

  • 1.1.007 – Correspondence – Administrative 
    • These records include “incoming/outgoing and internal correspondence pertaining to the formulation, planning, implementation, interpretation, modification, or redefinition of the programs, services, or projects of an agency and the administrative regulations, policies, and procedures that govern them.”
    • Important: This record series contains an archival code of O. For a state university this means that the universities Archival office has the authority to keep any historical information within this record series. The archival note for Administrative Correspondence is that “only the administrative correspondence of executive staff, board or commission members, division directors and program heads require archival review.” This means that Department Heads, Deans, VPs, and the President’s office have this archival review requirement.
  • 1.1.008 – Correspondence – General 
    • This record series is included for everyone else in a department.
    • These records include “non-administrative incoming/outgoing and internal correspondence, in any media, pertaining to or arising from the routine operations of the policies, programs, services, or projects of an agency.”

Other staff and faculty members are allowed to keep these types of emails for reference (same as some of your paper files) but are not actually responsible for the retention of these emails.

Let us know if you have any questions about this topic!

Where does Records Management come from?

In short Records Management is no new thing. In 1947 the State’s legislature implemented the first state records management program to assist state agencies in managing records. This legislation turned the power over to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) to manage and assist local government/state agencies in compliance with these laws. The legislation even gave authority to the State Auditor to ensure complete compliance from state agencies.

Each local government/state agency is responsible for total compliance with the laws as well as a responsibility to update and maintain a Records Retention Schedule. Individual agencies are encouraged to create their own representatives, departments, etc. to personalize a records management program to fit the needs of the individual state agency.

For more information on the Records Management Laws, TSLAC or the State and Local Records Management Division (SLRM) you can visit their website.

What to expect from the Training Sessions

Training sessions are currently being offered in person to those at the Alpine campus and soon-to-be online for those at the RGC campuses.

Here are a few things to know about the training’s:

  1. The training’s are always a good opportunity for those needing one-on-one help to ask their questions.
  2. There is a total of six training topics that everyone will need to improve their knowledge of Records Management. They include Record Retention Basics, Reading the Schedule, Organizing State Records, E-Records, Archival Process, and Conducting an Inventory. These sessions are not designed for individuals to pick one and leave another. They build on each other. For your benefit, trainees are encourage to hear all six topics discussed, and preferably in order.
  3. The training’s have been combined to equal only three days worth of training sessions with two topics discussed each day. The following is a break down of what topics are discussed at each training session.
    • Record Retention Basics and Reading the Schedule
      1. Where did Record Retention come from?
      2. What does the legislation say about the Records Management laws?
      3. What is a record and who are the record holders?
      4. Why would you want to practice good Records Management techniques?
      5. What is the schedule and where can I find the schedule?
      6. How to read the schedule.
      7. The rules regarding changes made to the schedule.
    • Organizing State Records and E-Records
      1. What is the difference between Records Retention and Records Management?
      2. Why is organizing your records important?
      3. Tips and tricks to organize records effectively.
      4. What is classified as an E-Record and how do they fit into the Records Management program?
      5.  What about emails?
      6. How to properly retain and preserve records on your computers.
      7. Scanned copies and Microfilm requirements.
      8. Social Media and Text Messages
    • Archival Process and Conducting an Inventory
      1. Why the records need approval from an Archivist?
      2. What do the I and O Archival codes mean on the schedule?
      3. The process of communication between departments at the University Archives
      4. What is an inventory and why is it important?
      5. Summary of the Inventory process

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the upcoming training’s. If you have any questions between now and then, please contact April Aultman Becker or myself. Contact information is found below or on the tab titled “About Us.”

Records Management Officer: April Aultman Becker, april.becker@sulross.edu, (432) 837-8121

Records Management Coordinator: Kayla Waggoner, kayla.waggoner@sulross.edu, (432) 837-8124

About Us

Hello Lobos! Dean April Aultman Becker and I were tasked with helping improve the presence of the Texas Records Management laws across the SR campuses. April and I thoroughly enjoy different segments of the overarching pie that is Records Management. This means that we would love the opportunity to help everyone across the Alpine and RGC campuses remain in compliance. Our focus is excellence as we administer to the state and Sul Ross.

It’s our hope that this blog with help everyone gain more knowledge about what the State requires from SRSU and help improve the overall productivity in each department.