Every paper or electronic record has a specific amount of time that it needs to be kept. This is called a retention period. Our Retention Schedules list the retention period and disposal method for each type of record.

Once the retention period has ended, records are disposed according to their value and content:

Shred confidential records such as research data, student folders, personnel records, and financial records that have account numbers listed.
Recycle records that are not confidential and do not contain personal/financial identifying information.
Delete electronic records that are not archival. Click here for tips on identifying and deleting electronic records that have met retention.
Transfer paper and electronic records to the University Archives if they have permanent legal, fiscal, administrative, or historical value.


Destruction Holds

Please be aware that all records pertaining to ongoing or pending audits, lawsuits (or even reasonably anticipated lawsuits), or public disclosure proceedings cannot be altered or destroyed until the issue is resolved. Once you have been notified that the destruction hold has been lifted, you may immediately destroy any records that have met their retention.


Disposition Log

We recommend using a Disposition Log to create an audit trail of paper and electronic records your office has destroyed. It’s not necessary to record individual destroyed documents or files – instead, records should be grouped and recorded by their type and function (Record Series).

At a minimum, the Disposition Log should contain the following information:

  • Record Series Title - Consult the General Records Retention Schedule or your Departmental Retention Schedule
  • Inclusive Dates for the records being destroyed
  • Person Authorizing Disposition - May or may not be the same person who physically oversees the disposition
  • Disposition Method - Delete, shred, recycle, or transfer to University Archives
  • Disposition Date

Click here to download a Disposition Log template for use in your office.

Disposition at the University Records Center

When boxes are transferred to the records center, it is understood:

  • Departments are responsible for accurately identifying and communicating the contents of the boxes they submit for storage.
  • Records Management Services will absorb the cost of shredding or recycling boxes stored in the records center.
  • Our office will work with the University Archivist to transfer records designated as archival to the University Archives.
  • Boxes stored at the records center are not destroyed without the receipt of formal signed authorization from the owner of the records.
  • It is the responsibility of the signatory to ensure that the records in question are not on destruction hold because of litigation, audit, or public records request.
  • Any eligible boxes for which we do not receive the requested signed disposition authorization will be returned to the originating office.