University Archives: Additional Records Retention Information

About the Retention Schedule

The records retention and disposition schedule is a tool for the staff and faculty to use when managing the records in their offices. It lists records commonly found in university offices and assesses their value by indicating when (and if) those records should be destroyed or transferred to the University Archives.

Non-Paper Records

The following items are considered public records if they have been created or maintained during the course of university business:

  • Digital files (including Word, Excel, PDFs, e-mails, and web sites)
  • Video and audio recordings (including mov, mp3, and mp4 files)
  • Photographs (including jpeg and tiff files)

Any work-related files stored on disks, flash drives, hard drives, Google drive, servers, or project management websites (e.g., Basecamp, Trello, etc.) are considered public records.

Records Requiring Permanent Retention

The majority of records created on campus are intended for a specific purpose and require only short-term retention. Some, however, have longterm administrative, legal, and historical value for documenting the activities of the university, and these require permanent retention.  A few guidelines for determining records of permanent, historical, or archival value include the following:

  • Records of the offices of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellors, and Deans. These records include all statements of policy, reports, correspondence and memoranda (including email), speeches, committee minutes, publicity materials, and business files.
  • Records from administrative and academic offices: correspondence and memoranda (including email), annual reports, final grant reports, self-study reports, policy statements and planning documents, symposium or colloquium files.
  • Faculty meeting minutes.
  • University publications (print and online), such as catalogs, newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines, newsletters, brochures, programs, and posters.
  • Videos and photographs produced by university departments, colleges, and offices.
  • Web sites of university departments, colleges, and offices.
  • Student organization records: minutes, publications, photographs, and videos.

Please consult the approved schedule for retention and disposition periods for specific record types. Contact the University Archives if you have questions about whether or not records require permanent retention.

Destruction of Records

  • The majority of records created by faculty and staff in the course of conducting university business will probably not require permanent retention.
  • Records can be destroyed only if they are listed on the approved retention schedule AND the schedule indicates that the records should be destroyed after a particular time period.
  • Records must not be destroyed prior to the end of the time period specified in the schedule.
  • When the schedule prescribes destruction of records, it is the responsibility of the offices that have been maintaining those records to destroy or delete them.
  • Policies, Regulations and Rules REG 01.25.12, Paragraph 2.2, has further information on the destruction of records.