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Records Retention Schedules: Overview

Records retention schedules instruct offices how to maintain a specific series of records throughout its life cycle according to the legal, fiscal, administrative, and historical needs of the University. General records retention schedules (also called general schedules) relate to records that are commonly encountered by offices throughout the University. General schedules apply to all University offices.

Office-specific records retention schedules (also called office-specific schedules) apply to a particular office unit and are developed by the University Archives in collaboration with individual University offices. Office-specific schedules are more detailed than general schedules and include record series that are unique to a particular office or group of offices. University offices are required to comply with general schedules as well as with office-specific schedules. If there is a conflict between a general schedule and an office-specific schedule, the office-specific schedule should be followed.

All records retention schedules are developed in accordance with the University’s Records Management and Archives Policy

To comply with records retention schedules, records must be filed strictly according to recognized Record Series. Records from different Record Series should not be intermingled. If different Record Series are filed together, it may be impossible to follow the retention and disposition instructions of the schedules. When that is the case, it is the responsibility of the office to reorganize the materials into recognized Record Series. Please visit Tips and Training for guidance on effective recordkeeping practices and on using records retention schedules. Contact the Archives for one-on-one consultation. 

View General Records Retention Schedules.

Develop Office-Specific Records Retention Schedules.

View Office-Specific Records Retention Schedules (restricted access).

Please note! In the event of a claim, a lawsuit, anticipated litigation, the issuance of a subpoena, the receipt of a written discovery request, the service of a summons, or an audit relating to any matters that may involve records or other materials in an office, including without limitation electronic records and e-mail, the applicable Records Retention Schedules should be suspended and no records should be destroyed or disposed of unless approved in advance by the University’s Office of General Counsel.  Records relating to legal cases involving the University will, in most cases, be retained permanently, irrespective of their previous retention schedule, at the discretion of the General Counsel’s Office.  All questions regarding the disposal or destruction of documents in the event of anticipated, threatened, or pending litigation, or administrative agency proceedings, should be referred to the Office of General Counsel before any documents, records, or other materials are disposed of or destroyed.

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This page was last updated January 24, 2017