Duplicate files, duplicate copies, library materials, and stocks of obsolete forms or pamphlets originally intended for distribution are not considered to be official records or record copies. Duplicates or non-record convenience copies should be destroyed when they cease to be useful and should never be kept longer than the official record copy.
Control of Records
Compliance with Legal Requirements
Protection During Litigation or Government Investigation
Consistency in Records Retention and Disposition
Administrative ValueRecords have administrative value as long as they provide information needed for an agency's current or future operations. Generally, eighty percent of the references made to a record occur within one year from the date it is created. The administrative value of most records is exhausted within two years. However, a few records provide information about an agency's origin, organization, policies, and functions, which have long-term administrative value.
Fiscal ValueRecords have fiscal value as long as they provide information needed to track revenue and expenditures or to document its financial transactions. Examples of records with primary fiscal value include budgets, allotments, ledgers, periodic accounting reports, vouchers, and warrants. Fiscal records that also have legal or official value, such as primary copies of budgets, ledgers, and vouchers, have longer-term retention value than fiscal records with administrative value, such as periodic accounting reports.
Legal ValueRecords have legal value as long as they provide enforceable documentation of the agency's rights and obligations. Ordinances, resolutions, contracts, and agreements are examples of records of primary legal value. Some records, such as governing council minutes, ordinances, and resolutions, have permanent legal value. The legal value of other records, such as contracts and agreements, is limited by the time they remain in effect plus the statute of limitations on the agency's liability for the terms and conditions that they document. Thus, the standard retention period for contracts and agreements is termination plus six years.
Research/Historical (Archival) ValueSome records have long-term research value because they provide significant documentation concerning the development of the agency's mission, policies, programs, and the area(s) it serves through time. Once the agency determines that the administrative, legal, and fiscal needs for such records have been exhausted the records should be transferred to The University Archives for long-term preservation and research use.
The Institutional Records Retention Schedule provides a list of official records and prescribes the periods of authorized retention. The schedule may be revised periodically to include a newly created record series, to change retention periods, or to delete a record series no longer useful. Appropriate approval procedures must be followed and completed before any revisions would become effective.
All records should be kept for the minimum period listed in the Records Retention Schedule. Records should also be maintained until all required audits are completed and should be retained beyond the listed retention periods when there is a probability of litigation either involving records or requiring their use. Documents may be maintained for the prescribed minimum retention periods in microform. Official records kept only in electronic format must be identified in the Retention Schedule.