ARO Spotlight: Student Data Privacy Team’s Records Retention Group

Rebekkah Shaw Records Management, Records Officer Spotlights

 L-R. Randy Raphael, Whitney Philips, David Sallay, Philip Vernon

L-R. Randy Raphael, Whitney Philips, David Sallay, Philip Vernon Not pictured: Ben Rasmussen

It’s time to spotlight another team that is making records management part of their office culture. It’s a daunting goal, but they’re excited to meet the challenge!

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) takes its obligation to protect student information very seriously. The Student Data Privacy program’s focus is (among other things) to ensure that student data are protected, and modeling best practices in data governance. This is how they became the driving force for USBE’s records management updates.

As part of this focus, the Student Data Privacy Team is working with USBE’s appointed records officer, Ben Rasmussen, to make compliance to state statute simple for their agency, beginning with an agency-wide records inventory. Each division selected a Records Steward to review what each staff member does as part of their current job description. Each process and task performed has records related to it. Defining those processes is an excellent approach to inventory records!

The team’s next step will be one-on-one in-person tutorials over the summer to help these stewards determine the retention of the identified record series. Along with these trainings, the team is working to create and implement records management in the onboard/off-boarding process and starting yearly “spring cleanings” lead by the division Records Stewards. The team said their goal is to “focus and streamline agency output, making the overall mission of accurate and compliant records management far more efficient and effective for our agency’s Records Officer.”

One challenge has been getting buy-in from all stakeholders, but the team said they expected it because “cultural change [is] one of the main tasks in embarking on such an effort.”

We asked what advice the Data Privacy team would give to other records officers, and they said “the process takes time. There will be times of ebb-and-flow. Taking small bites and allowing a realistic amount of time for cultural adaptation and subsequent buy-in at one’s agency will be well worth the investment.”

Thank you to USBE’s Data Privacy Team, for your dedication and hard work!