Records Retention and Management


The University of Alaska Fairbanks maintains a wide variety of Records in both paper and electronic forms.  These records are essential to the mission of UAF and must be created, maintained and destroyed according to the policies established by the UA Board of Regents.  These policies can be found at the UA Records and Information office (RIM).

Not all documents that are received, utilized or distributed by UAF are considered university records.  Most of those that are considered official university records are listed in Record Retention Schedules housed by UA RIM. Retention Schedules are available for several functional areas including:

  • Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Admissions & Registration
  • Financial Aid

These schedules outline the types of documents that are considered to be records along with the overall lifecycle for those records.

University records are all part of the overall Information Management (IM) process at UAF.  In the IM lifecycle (as shown in the info graphic in the left-hand column), attention is paid to tracking and taking care of document records from the time that they are created or received by UAF to when they are used to support the UAF mission and finally to when they are stored and then destroyed (if appropriate).  UA uses the  OnBase Enterprise Content Management (ECM) System from Hyland Software as the official repository for all UAF records along with many other UAF documents that need to tracked and maintained.  Each UAF functional area (HR, Finance, Student Services, etc.) uses OnBase for at least some of their records and there are ongoing projects to increase the types of document records migrated to the OnBase system.  In areas where OnBase is not yet used, care needs to be taken throughout the IM process to ensure the handling of documents meets UA requirements for the confidentiality, integrity and availability of those documents.  Visit the UA RIM websitefor more information. If your department would like to discuss how OnBase can be used to help maintain your documents and records, please contact the OnBase administrator.

There are several ways to access OnBase. Please use the descriptions below to determine the method that will best meet your needs.

  1. Unity Client - this is our recommended client for Windows users. It is installed separately for each user on a Windows system and, thus, does not need administrator privileges to install. Unity looks and behaves much like other Office applications and should have better performance for users on slower network connections.
  2. Web (Thin) Client - this is a web application that can be used by those on a Macintosh system as well as those on Windows.  It supports several current browsers including IE, Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Note that you may need to change the Safari User-Agent on newer OS X versions (Contact the UAF OnBase administrator if you need help with this). We recommend the web client if you are occasionally looking up documents in OnBase and don't need to do much importing or workflow.
  3. OnBase (Thick) Client - for power users on Windows who do a lot of batch processing or auto-indexing. Most UAF users should use either Unity or Web. If neither of these meet your needs, please contact the UAF OnBase administrator for further information regarding Thick Client use (installed on request). We do not recommend the install/use of Thick Client when you are working remotely.

To access the Web client or get to the installer for Unity, go to If you are going to install Unity (Windows only), please note that you must use either Internet Explorer or a current version of Edge to do the install -- no other browser will work for this type of installation.

Access to functional areas in OnBase is granted upon the request of the appropriate security coordinator.  Normally, the procedure is for the coordinator to go to the OIT Service Catalog and click on the OnBase Access Request button.  This will bring up a page that lists all of the combinations of permission groups.  There is a OnBase Security Group Help Page available.  While we cannot take applications from users for their own access, supervisors are welcome to request access for their employees.  Note that for some accesses, we will need to validate the request with a coordinator before granting the access.   As of 25 January 2017, the UAF Security Coordinators are:

Functional Area Security Coordinator Email (+ Notes
 Student Services  Mary Buchanan  mkbuchanan  
 Student Services  Mike Earnest  wmearnest  UAF Type 1 Approver   
 Student Services  Lisa Foster  ldfoster  
 Student Services  Donavan Kienenberger uaf-registrar-access-request  
 Finance/HR  Belinda Norris brnorris  
 Finance/HR  Lynn Wrightsman  lawrightsman  UAF Type 1 Approver   
 Finance/AR  Amanda Wall  aiwall  
 Financial Aid  Deanna Dieringer  dldieringer  
 OnBase  Derek Bastille  dlbastille  UAF Level 1 Approver  

It is important to note that UAF does not normally keep records indefinitely.  Every document has a defined lifecycle and will eventually be eligible for destruction.  Documents that are under audit or are otherwise subject to legal review will not be destroyed until such time as the review or audit is completed and the document is at the end of its lifecycle.

There are many different ways to destroy documents and it is important to track when, how and by whom this destruction was accomplished.   Tracking for UAF documents is done with the Certificate of Destruction (COD) and (if needed) COD Continuation Sheets.  The COD forms are intended to be used as collections of documents are destroyed.  It is up to each department to determine what defines a collection of documents and how these collections are tracked.   Some departments will track individual personnel folders while others might have a shared volume that has scanned receipts in it and all receipts are purged monthly.  Your department should document what constitutes a collection for the records it maintains.  

Note that just because your department has copies of records, it might not be the home for those records.  For example, grant documentation belongs to OGCA and the official copies are maintained by OGCA even if a PI might happen to have a copy of their own grant documentation.  Copies of records that are given to departments for reference do not need to be included in the COD -- only the official copies need to be on the COD. 

Departments that have records that need to be tracked on a COD should keep a running copy of that COD and fill it in as collections are destroyed.  Each time, enter:

  • The date a collection was destroyed
  • The type(s) of records in the collection
  • How the collection was destroyed
  • Any identification (UAID, series #, month, etc) for the collection destroyed
  • The initials of the person doing the destruction

At the end of the fiscal year, the designated records person at the department should sign and date any completed or in-progress CODs and then file them for future review.  Toad upload Test