Records Storage Has Gone Digital!

On July 1st, 2023, University Records Storage closed and is no longer accepting non-archival paper-based records. For EWU to continue to be nimble, flexible, and efficient we need to move away from paper-based processes and resources to an all-electronic environment.

Please contact records management with any questions and to schedule a consultation to help your office transition to digital records.

What is my Responsibility?

As a state agency, Eastern Washington University is subject to laws regarding records retention and transparency. The university, each of its offices, and each and every employee has the legal responsibility to demonstrate the proper care and management of its records.

What is my Responsibility?

Does this record need to be retained?

Are the records Transitory or Substantive?

  • “Transitory” are records created or received to pass along information of temporary value such as drafts, working documents, duplicates, routine information, etc. Check the records retention schedule  to see if your records are transitory. Transitory records do not need to be retained and can be destroyed as soon as you no longer need them.
  • “Substantive” are records that provide a record of the function of your office such as processes requiring approval or signature, research records, spending or reimbursement of funds etc. Check the records retention schedule  to see if your records are substantive. Substantive records need to be retained and may be eligible for Scan and Toss.

If the records do need to be retained, can paper records be destroyed after scanning?

YES – if you follow the steps below:

  • Determine if the records are “Archival” or “Non-Archival”
    • If the records are “non-archival” your records are eligible for Scan & Toss, you may proceed to step 2.
    • If the records are “Archival” send the records to Records Management for Storage, these are not eligible for Scan & Toss.
  • Records must be scanned at a minimum of 300 dpi (dots per inch).
  • It is recommended that scanned records be saved as PDF files. If records are scanned using a mobile device, JPEGs are an acceptable format.
  • Scanned documents must be visually inspected to ensure that the image is complete, clear, and easily read.
  • The length of the resulting PDF must be compared to the number pages of scanned records to ensure that every document was scanned. In the same way, if using a mobile device to scan records, the resulting scans must be compared with the records to ensure every document was captured.

How do I manage, store, and retain images?

Departments need to factor in not only the retention period (e.g., six years), but also the trigger or the cut-off that starts the retention clock. For example, a record with a minimum retention of “six years after life of building” would likely need to be retained for much longer than just six years.

  • Scanned records must be protected against alteration and/or deletion, damage, or loss thought-out the entire retention period.
  • Scanned records must remain accessible and that multiple people have access to these records for the minimum retention period.
  • Departments should document the destruction of records, including scanned images, as it provides evidence to prove that they retained their records for the minimum retention periods.
  • If the retention for your documents is greater than 7 years, please contact for storage assistance.
  • If you would like suggestion on setting up storage locations please contact or contact the IT Help Desk.

How do I destroy  the scanned paper records?

Once you’ve scanned records, you can destroy the paper version via locked shred bin, or if you have several boxes of records you can submit a work order for Trucking to pick up and destroy your boxes.

How do I destroy scanned records which have met their retention?

Before destroying records which have met their retention you will need to email with the following information:

  • Brief Description of the records being destroyed
  • Applicable Disposition Authority Number (DAN)
  • Cut Off Date
  • Destruction Date

If you need help identifying any of this information please reach out to Records Management.

15 Things to Destroy this Year

  • Newsletter/Listservs from EWU or from relevant industries
  • Announcements (suspended operations, e-outage or IT maintenance work, Campus Police alerts)
  • System notifications
  • Informal Notifications/Communications (meeting announcements, reservations, confirmations
  • Drafts. Draft emails, draft documents
  • Requests for general information. What are your office hours? What is your phone number/ mailbox/ office number? What’s the application deadline?
  • Calendar invitations, acceptances, meeting announcements, meeting agendas and other scheduling. This includes Zoom Meeting invitations
  • Brainstorming and collaborating. Delete once they have served their purpose. These could be in SharePoint, Teams, emails, Google Drive, OneDrive etc.
  • Organizing/Monitoring Work in Progress. Delete once they have served their purpose. These could be on Excel, Microsoft Project, Google Sheets, calendar reminders, notes, tasks, etc.
  • Lists and logs. These can include membership lists, contact information, office birthdays.
  • Duplicates. Extra copies of correspondence, forms, reports, exports/printouts from a master file.
  • Published Reference Materials. Delete as soon as they have served their purpose.
  • When deleting Emails on your smartphone, be sure to swipe to Delete. Do not swipe to Archive. Go back later and Delete from your Deleted folder.
  • Deleted Items. Empty your Deleted Items folder. Empty your computer’s Recycle Bin folder.
  • Personal emails unrelated to EWU business (Amazon orders, Christmas cards, personal appointments)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Most present day workflows create electronic records.
  • Paper is cumbersome to back up properly.
  • Physical records are not accessible remotely.
  • There is no search function for paper.
  • Paper is more susceptible to natural disasters: fires, floods, and earthquakes.
  • Physical records are more difficult to locate, copy, and share.
  • Because you want to keep all of the records on a particular person, project, or matter together in one place — going digital is the preferred practice over printing everything.
  • Because you have paper records to share with colleagues.
  • Because your office is moving, has run out of, or has found better use for your current storage space.
  • Because you are leaving your position and you possess paper records that have continuing retention or value to the office that you do not want to be lost or forgotten in the shuffle.
  • Because scanning and recognizing text in Adobe Acrobat makes the content of scanned documents easy to find and is far more efficient than reading every piece of paper to determine the contents of a record.
  • If your records have a retention of under 7 years, you can store your records using Google Drive or One Drive. Each year you will need to review these records and destroy any that have met their minimum retention length.
  • If your records have a lengthy retention over 7 years or require you to hold on to them for a very long time because of contractual obligations, please reach out to to set up Etrieve for you.

There are several factors which must be met before records subject to retention can be destroyed:

  • Does it meet the requirements in the retention schedule?
  • Is it still needed for business needs?
  • Is there an active audit for which it is needed?
  • Is there a litigation hold / public records request currently on the record?

Note:  records that have minimal retention value (transitory records) only need to be retained until they are no longer needed for university business.

A record that has met its retention cut-off is considered inactive for its retention period.

At this time, we are not scanning archival records. If you’re not sure if your records are archival, ask the University Records Officer for help. University Records Storage will still be accepting archival records. Once records have met their cutoff, they can be transferred to Records Management using this Form (

These are records needed, in the event of a disaster, to continue operations.  The university needs these records to resume its core functions following a disaster.

Disposition Authority Number is a code used to systematically identify a Record Series in a legal document that defines retentions and disposal of records.

Examples: GS 01001 (General State DAN which applies to university financial transactions) and 74-07-05577 (EWU specific DAN which applies to student admission applications).

The law broadly defines what constitutes a “public record.”  According to RCW 40.14.010 it is defined as being “made by or received by [the university] . . . in connection with the transaction of public business” and “regardless of physical form or characteristics”.  According to RCW 42.56.010 it is “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function, prepared, owned, used, or retained by [the university] regardless of physical form or characteristics.”

For the purposes of these laws, public records include:  emails, text messages, social media posts, voice mail, art, maps, photos, video and sound recordings, documents (paper and electronic), and so much more!  Additionally, if university business is conducted on personally owned devices like laptop computers, cell phones, the resulting records constitute public records.

EWU Policies

Records Retention, Preservation, & Management EWU 201-02 Electronic Signatures EWU 201-05

State Laws

Accuracy, Durability, & Permanence WAC 434-660 Powers & Duties of the State Archivist WAC 434-620
Archives – Access to Records WAC 434-690 Powers & Duties of the State Records Committee WAC 434-624
Custody of Public Records WAC 434-615 Preservation & Destruction of Public Records WAC 434-600
Definitions WAC 434-610 Preservation of Electronic Records WAC 434-662
Essential Records RCW 40.10 Promulgation RCW 40.14
Imaging Systems WAC 434-663 Reproducted Records for Governments & Business RCW 40.20
Methods of Records Disposal WAC 434-640 Security Microfilm WAC 434-677
Penal Provisions RCW 40.16