Frequent Asked Questions
Contact the Records Manager for advice of any sort. If you aren't sure what to keep and what not to keep, or the records require extensive sorting and culling, then schedule an appointment with the Records Manager for a records survey. Any records created or processed by your office are eligible for a records survey. A records survey identifies vital records, nonrecords, records management-eligible records, and archival records; it also makes recommendations about records retention and disposition. The next step is to start boxing up the temporary inactive records you have identified to transfer to the Records Center.
Inactive temporary records. Inactive temporary reocrds are records that are no longer actively used, have fulfilled their original purposes, but are being retained for a finite period for other administrative, fiscal, legal or historical purposes.
The state sets the basic guidelines for the retention and disposition of records. General Schedule 111 (GS 111), which provides the retention schedule for the records of state universities, and all other retention schedules are available online, as well as from the University Records Manager, who is happy to help explain exactly how to decode the state retention vocabulary. It is incumbent on university schools, offices, or divisions to contact the Records Manager to initiate record management for eligible records.
Yes. They include:
No. All temporary university records, including electronic records, microforms, and audio-visual materials, are subject to records management. The Library of Virginia's General Schedule 110 provides a retention guide for electronic records. If it is necessary to reformat or migrate university records (such as converting electronic data to microfilm, paper to microfilm, or paper/film information to optical disk), please refer to the Library of Virginia's guidelines on Records Reformatting Options.
According to the Library of Virginia's Electronic Records Guidelines, "Information maintained in electronic format does not have a different records status just because it is electronic." Electronic records are subject to the records retention schedule that applies to how the record is used: email is classified as correspondence, an electronic travel request has the same retention as paper travel documentation, etc.
According to recently passed amendments to the Virginia Public Records Act, an electronic record is "a public record whose creation, storage, and access require the use of an automated system or device. Ownership of the hardware, software, or media used to create, store, or access the electronic record has no bearing on a determination of whether such record is a public record" and each state agency, such as Mason is "responsible for ensuring that its public records are preserved, maintained, and accessible throughout their lifecycle, including converting and migrating electronic records as often as necessary so that information is not lost due to hardware, software, or media obsolescence or deterioration. Any public official who converts or migrates an electronic record shall ensure that it is an accurate copy of the original record. The converted or migrated record shall have the force of the original." Contact the Records Manager to discuss strategies to manage your electronic records.
Management will provide you with free records center boxes. Records center boxes are the only type
of boxes in which records can be stored in the George Mason University
Records Center. Safety and storage reasons make it mandatory
all boxes in the Records Center be of a uniform size. If any non-record
center boxes are sent to Records Management, they will be returned, and
you will be asked to repack your records into record center boxes.
They are free. Records center boxes are provided at no cost by the
Records Management Office to any office or academic unit that has
inactive records that are ready for records management.
A records center box (15"x12.5"x10") holds approximately one-half of a filing cabinet drawer. Whenever possible, only place a single type of records in each box. Please do not put any hanging file folders in records center boxes; the metal hangers destroy the boxes.What do I do with the box labels?
Am I required to transport my boxes to the Records Center?
If you have a small number of boxes, RM staff will pick up your boxes in person. In the case of large quantities of boxes, the Records Manager contacts Physical Plant Work Control to arrange transportation of the boxes to the University Records Center. If you provide your e-mail address, a copy of the work order will be e-mailed to you from Work Control.
As long as the appropriate retention schedule specifies. Refer to General Schedule 111 for information regarding mandatory retention time periods before the disposal of university records can take place. If you have unique records, or if there are special circumstances that make it necessary to retain your records beyond the normal retention period (such as records involving in an ongoing or pending lawsuit, records with special audit requirements, and certain records involving federal funds), please contact the Records Manager so a customized retention schedule can be devised for the records in question.
After all requirements have been met, including the
completion of any pending audits or litigation, then the disposal
of university records can take place.
there are special circumstances rules that make it necessary to retain
your records beyond the normal retention period, temporary inactive
records should be disposed of promptly and in accordance with the
appropriate disposition schedule issued by the Commonwealth of
Virginia. There are disadvantages, including storage costs
also certain legal risks, associated with random and/or undocumented
divergence from a records management schedule. Please notify
Records Manager in advance if you will be sending
any records for records management that have special scheduling or
Yes. There is a process for the retrieval of records. Contact the Records Manager.
Fenwick Library, Room C204. MSN 2FL. TEL 703.993.2201. FAX 703.993.8911. Email