Policy on Retention of University Records (32 KB PDF)
The University depends on information to develop programs and services,make critical strategic decisions, protect property rights, manage projects,serve students, and generate revenue. That information is contained in University records. Records can only be fully utilized as an asset if they are properly managed to enhance access to information and to reduce costs and risks. A records disposition program is a critical component in properly managing records.
The goal of a records disposition program is to ensure that:
Disposition schedules are a well-established tool to support efficient operation and to manage records in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Schedules consist of:
Retention periods are based on an analysis of the length of time the documents are needed to support operational, administrative, legal, fiscal, and historic requirements. Retention periods are the same whether records are kept in digital, paper, or both, forms. Schedules should be used by all University departments and offices and by administrative and academic staff, administrators, and faculty.
The benefits of a records disposition program are:
Most units use documents that are not University records to support their work. Because they are not records (i.e., evidence of University activities), these kinds of documents are not found in records disposition schedules. They can be disposed of entirely at the discretion of department staff.
|Suspension Warning||Do Not Destroy Records that are part of - or you are aware that they will be part of - any legal action, audit, investigation, or review.||This warning appears at the top and bottom of every schedule as a reminder that, regardless of the normal disposition period, records that are part of an investigation, audit, or legal action MAY NOT BE DESTROYED. In other words, normal disposition is suspended until the investigation, audit, or legal action has been completed.|
|Schedule Title||Budgeting Records||The title identifies records with a common purpose (e.g., budgeting) or having a common form (e.g., contracts), that are generally used and managed as a group.|
|Description||Documents budget development and performance monitoring||Describes activities that produce the records and the document types most commonly produced by those activities|
|Confidentiality||Personally identifiable (non-directory) student information||Identifies the types of confidential information commonly present. Records containing confidential information that are scheduled for destruction should be securely destroyed to ensure that confidential information is not disclosed inadvertently.|
|Office of Record||Budget Office
|Identifies the units responsible for official copies.|
|Other Offices||Units maintaining convenience copies||Identifies units holding other copies of records and may recommend how long those copies should be kept, if different from the retention period of the official copy.|
|Disposition Instructions||Keep 5 years after current fiscal year, then destroy by shredding or file wiping: monthly expense statements, monthly salary distribution reports||Identifies the length of time the official copy should be kept (its retention period) and the method by which it should be destroyed after its retention period has expired. When subgroups of records have different retention periods, this section is repeated.|
|Schedule Dates||Effective Date: 2003
Revision Date: 12/2006
|The date the schedule first became effective and the most recent date the schedule was updated.|
A pilot project to develop records disposition schedules began in November 2005 and was completed in November 2006. The project was designed to determine the costs and benefits of records scheduling and develop a scalable process for a continuing program. Records in the custody of five University departments were inventoried. The records represented in the disposition schedules here are those found in multiple participating departments. These schedules are not comprehensive. Records not present in multiple inventories were not scheduled as part of the pilot project.
Project participants included:
The Records Disposition Committee advised on the length of time the records identified in the inventories need to be kept to satisfy legal and regulatory requirements and to support fiscal, audit, and historic uses. Members of the Committee were:
Staff from Human Resources, Student Employment, Travel Services, and Procurement offered expert advice on their current record retention practices.
Staff from the University Archives developed inventory forms and procedures, trained the participating departments' Records Coordinators in inventorying practices, researched retention practices at other universities, developed record series and draft retention schedules, produced this web site, and coordinated the project.
Additional general schedules are being developed. The University Archives will assist departments to develop department-specific schedules.
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