Academic Records Retention


This policy defines the types of academic records, length of retention, and destruction for records past the retention date.


An individual who completes the undergraduate application for admission, either online or hardcopy.

Admitted Student: An applicant who submits all necessary paperwork and for whom an admission decision is generated.

Course Documentation: May include the following: student tests, papers, examinations, or other material used in determining the grade of individual students.

Hardcopy: Paper records.

Official Record: A record with current administrative use for the generating unit. This includes official publications, incoming/outgoing correspondence including email, minutes of meetings, reports, and student records. Records remain active for varying amounts of time, depending on the purpose.

Official Repository: The unit designated the responsibility for retention and timely destruction of official university records. The administrative manager or designee will receive the assign of responsibility.

Student Academic Record: May include the following: transcripts, evaluation and credit assessment forms, advanced placement records, class schedules, academic standing documents, graduation information, high school and college personal data forms, medical records, immigration documentation including the I-20 form, essays, and financial documents.

Unofficial Record: Documents and unofficial copies of documents maintained in an office, for convenience, other than the Repository Office.


Maintenance of University Records

Departments must maintain university records in a manner that provides (1) access for faculty and staff to carry out normal job responsibilities, and (2) reasonable protection against misuse, misplacement, loss, destruction, damage, or theft.

Records may be maintained in hardcopy or electronic/imaged format. University records must be stored on university premises or in a university approved venue at all times. The maintenance and destruction of imaged documents is the sole responsibility of the Office of Information Technology.

Departments should document official records loaned to other departments or individuals, by describing the record, loan date, return date, borrowing department, individual, and signature of the borrower.

Records Retention Requirements

The minimum record retention requirements for the following official documents:

Official Record Minimum Requirement Official Repository
Accreditation Reports Permanent Institutional Research
Applications for Admission for persons who are admitted but do not matriculate 3 years Enrollment Management
Applications for Admissions for persons who are admitted and do matriculate 5 years after graduation or date of last attendance Enrollment Management
Applications for Graduation Permanent (electronic) Registrar
Course Documentation 1 year after course completion Faculty
Faculty Grade Books 5 years after course completion Faculty
Notification letters for academic probation, suspension, or dismissal Permanent (electronic) Registr
Minutes of meetings academic program and departmental/division meetings 3 years Departmental/Division Office
Minutes of Academic Council meetings 5 years Academic Affairs Office
Minutes of General Education Committee 5 years Academic Affairs Office
Minutes of Academic Grievance/Appeals Committee 5 years Academic Affairs Office
Records pertaining to student academic grievances 5 years Academic Affairs Office
Minutes of Standing University Committees 3 years Academic Affairs Office
Student Academic Forms

  • Add/Drop Form
  • Consent to Release Academic Information Form
  • Change of Grade Form
Permanent (electronic) Registrar
Student Transcripts & Official Grade Rosters Permanent (electronic) Registrar

Disposal of Records

University records (regardless of the storage medium) can be disposed of upon reaching the minimum retention period stated in this policy, provided the department does not need the records for future administrative, legal, research/historical, or fiscal purposes.

The department head (or designee) is responsible for performing, an annual review to determine the value or usefulness of departmental records. During this review, the department head (or designee) should identify and designate for disposal (destruction or transfer to an archive) the records with elapsed retention periods that are no longer useful.

The department head is responsible for authorizing the disposal of records. When authorized, shred records containing sensitive and/or confidential information and dispose of shredded material properly. Do not discard documents containing sensitive or confidential information in the trash that are not shredded. Erase and verify elimination of data beyond recovery on electronic media (removable media, CD, hard drive) before reusing or discarding.

Unofficial Records

Not all documents must be retained. Unofficial records do not record official university activities and do not have specified retention requirements. Such documents do not need to be maintained and may be destroyed at any time. Such documents include:

  • applications for admissions of persons who are not admitted
  • extra copies of official documents
  • published reports produced by other entities
  • purchased data from other sources
  • blank letterhead or other blank forms
  • routing slips or telephone messages
  • catalogues, journals, or other printed matter used for information purposes
  • routine letters of transmittal and “for your information” notes
  • notices or memoranda that give only ‘timely information’ such as a change of venue for a meeting
  • notes or working papers once a project is completed, unless they provide more complete information than the final report

Electronic Records Storage:

Electronic record keeping is the storage and retrieval of information in digital form. This means of record keeping includes, but is not limited to, the use of tapes, disks and optical disks. This applies to all electronic records systems.

Disposal of Paper Records after Transfer to Other Media:

Compact electronic storage methods provide a space saving and often cost-efficient means of storing records that are originally in paper form. After transfer, retain the stored electronic records for the minimum retention period specified in this policy; shred paper records containing sensitive and/or confidential information.

The Responsible Office/Policy Owner: Office of Academic Affairs.





Approval Date: 10/10/2013
Academic Council: 02/13/2020
Cabinet:  02/17/2020