Establishing an Essential Records List

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Establishing an Essential Records List

To: All Colleges and Departments


Richard King, Manager
Records Management & Archives

Subject: Establishing an Essential Records List

Date: December 10, 2014

The three Arizona universities are considered state agencies and therefore fall under the constraints and mandates of Arizona Revised Statutes regarding the management and protection of the records held by those entities. Most units, departments, and colleges of the University participate in the University's records management functions through the UA Records Management and Archives unit. Recent reorganization and staffing changes at the State Library have brought a renewed interest in the management of the Universities' records and in particular their "Essential Records." Under A.R.S. § 41-151.14.A.5 the state's Universities (and other agencies) must submit a listing of their essential or vital records to the state every five years. This year will be the first time we have undertaken this effort with the state Division of Public Records. This requirement is part of the state's effort to encourage Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) for state agencies to prepare for what are termed Black Swan (low probability, high impact) events.

Every University unit, department and college needs to have the employee responsible for their records read the essential records introductory material found on our website at and fill out the form listed there. This effort is to identify those of your records necessary for the functioning of your unit, department or college during the first 72 hours of a disruptive event. In the preparation of your list, also consider others who might need your records as first responders to a disastrous event whether localized or of larger magnitude.

While this effort is, and should be, an ongoing one, we would like to get your best effort before the end of this calendar year. We know this time frame is drastically compressed given the season. Obviously, some units may not have the staff to finish this effort by the time the University closes for the holidays, so please get this information to us as soon as you can.

If your unit has no records that fit the descriptions in the introductory material (adapted from the state) please also contact us so that we can take your unit off our list.

Please submit completed forms to:

DO NOT send completed forms to the State Records Division as stated on the form.

Contact UA Records Management & Archives at (520) 889-5666 or (520) 889-5631 if you have any questions before the end of the winter break.  At the beginning of the new calendar year the RMAA telephone number will change to (520) 621-5666.

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