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Destroying University Records

Both general and office-specific records retention schedules identify records that are not of enduring historical value. These records are scheduled to be destroyed after all administrative, financial, and legal retention requirements have been fulfilled. On records retention schedules, the Office Disposition column instructs an office on what to do with a record series at the end of its Office Retention. Typically, the instruction is either "Destroy" or "Transfer to the Archives."

When the Office Disposition is "Destroy," offices are responsible for the proper destruction of the files they hold in that record series at the specified time.

The method of records destruction depends on the information contained in the records. When records only contain information that is publicly available or that does not pose any security risk to the University, those records should be recycled. The University's Highly Sensitive Information Handling Standard dictates that records containing highly sensitive information, such as social security numbers or medical information, must be destroyed so that the information is completely inaccessible. Paper records containing highly sensitive information must be cross-cut shredded. Computer files containing highly sensitive information must be permanently deleted. Visit the Office of Information Technologies' Help website to learn how to permanently delete computer files or to erase a computer hard drive.

When the Office Disposition reads "Transfer to the Archives," those records that are of enduring historical value are added to the Archives' permanent collection. Non-archival records are securely stored until all retention requirements have been fulfilled and then they are destroyed. The Archives conducts bulk shredding at least twice a year for records that have passed their required retention period. Until destroyed, records that are scheduled for destruction remain available for retrieval by their originating office.

Shred Bins

The Archives administers the University shredding program, which provides in-office shred bins for confidential records destruction. Visit Shredding Program for information on participating in the program and for the upcoming shred calendar.

Information Security Resources

Information Security: Information security resources from the Office of Information Technologies

Information Security Policy: University policy to protect Notre Dame's information resources

Highly Sensitive Information Handling Standard: Controls for handling highly sensitive University information


This page was last updated December 9, 2021