Record Retention and Disposal

This series of essays is designed to educate and inform college decision makers about the critical issues surrounding document retention. This manual provides an overall analysis of document retention issues, identifies appropriate retention periods, and includes several sample policies.
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This series of essays is designed to educate and inform college decision makers about the critical issues surrounding document retention. Almost every college official retains documents. In many cases, the reasons for retention are unclear and are not based on any college-wide document retention and disposal policy.

This manual provides an overall analysis of document retention issues, identifies appropriate retention periods, and includes several sample policies. The manual addresses many types of documents relevant to college personnel, including the following:

  • Personnel and Employment Records

  • Faculty Records and Files

  • Student Records

  • Financial and Tax Records

  • Gift Records

  • Alumni Records

  • Building and Facilities Records

  • Compliance Records and Environmental Laws

  • Campus Crime Reports

  • E-Mail and Other Computerized Data

  • Litigation Files

Each document category is presented in a common format: Overview, Retention Period, Reasons for Retaining, and Access and Disclosure Considerations. A Selected Bibliography is provided for each chapter.

State laws do affect records management. When developing record retention and disposal policies, colleges should review state laws. These laws govern several areas, including personnel files, tax records, and statutes of limitations. Examples of state laws may be found in Appendix 6 of this manual.

Table of Contents

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