As part of the university’s responsibility to ensure the orderly retention and destruction of its records, University Records Management maintains a Records Retention Schedule (RRS) for the university. The schedule outlines which records are subject to specific retention requirements and when and how to disposition such records.
The retention schedule:
- provides timeframes, high level responsibilities, and any special handling instructions associated with records in any media (paper, digital, or other)
- does not prescribe a filing structure, but does supply terminology for labeling or tagging content
- serves as a core procedure that supports the University Records Management Policy.
While the RRS covers many categories of material, regardless of whether these are paper based or digital, there are materials which are not subject to retention and can be disposed of immediately or as soon as they are no longer useful. For more information, see the Records Not Subject to Specific Preservation Requirements below.
The RRS and the University Records Management program that has been developed to implement it across the institution are built around best practices and international standard ISO-15489 Information and documentation -- Records management.
At the highest level, the RRS is organized by five functional sections that align with how the governing policies of the university are organized, as detailed below. While some of the section headings resemble department names, these headings refer to functions within each department rather than specific departments.
For example, an academic department will find information about records that pertain to its work in section II. Academics, Instruction and Research but also in section IV. Finance, Administration and Infrastructure and section V. Human Resources.
- Board of Trustees and University Senate meeting minutes
- Universitywide policies
- Legal cases and litigation
II. Academics, Instruction, and Research
- Curriculum development, delivery (courses), and assessment
- University-funded research projects and sponsored awards
- Management of library and museum collections
III. Administration of Student Affairs
- Health services
- Admissions, academics, scholarships/financial aid, conduct, housing
- Intercollegiate athletics
IV. Finance, Administration, and Infrastructure
- Office and university management
- Accounting, budget, contracting and procurement
- Facilities and property
V. Human Resources
- Search and recruitment
- Personnel and payroll
Information in the RRS
The schedule is a list of entries that cover the different kinds of records the university receives, generates, and maintains with guidance for handling and disposal of the records. The groupings, or sections, of the RRS are based on activities the kinds of activities that generate them, not specific university departments. Each entry on the schedule has the following elements:
- describes a conceptual grouping of records that are related by the activities generating them and shared requirements. Each series has a heading and a brief description and/or list of the kinds of material that make it up. Where present, the lists are not exhaustive.
- the program, unit, or department accountable for maintaining reliable, complete, and accessible records in the given series for the duration of assigned retention period. Being named the "Owner" is not always synonymous with having physical custody of the material. In cases where third parties are used to store or manage data that are records, the "Owner" remain(s) accountable for access to usable, reliable, complete records for the duration of their life cycle.
Retention and Disposal Instructions:
- Minimum time to keep records in the series and what happens when that time has been met. These instructions are based on government regulations, funding agency rules, UO policies, collective bargaining agreements, and professional standards and best practices.
- References that link to laws, regulations, standards, or best practices that serve as the basis for the retention rule established in the schedule.
- Link to any guidelines that were in place prior to the current UO RRS.
Finding specific entries or listings
Each of the five functions or sections of the retention schedule are further subdivided by the activities that make up the functions. For example, admissions, registration,and enrollment are activities found under the function II. Academics/Instruction/Research.
The retention schedule includes a search feature that lets you sort the list of entries by their function. Use the drop down ("Select Record Function") to filter by function of the records. Remember that each listing is related to a function, not a specific department.
For example, when searching for how long to retain personnel material, select V. Human Resources from the drop-down menu. Select the "Apply" button and browse the search results.
Records Subject to Specific Preservation Requirements
If it is listed on the University Records Retention Schedule, there are preservation requirements for UO offices. Some University Public Records, regardless of whether these are paper or digital, are subject to federal or state law or other regulations and hence listed on the University Records Retention Schedule. A fraction of scheduled records have enduring historical value and must be transferred to the University Archives for perpetual preservation. More information about criteria for these kinds of records is available on the Library Special Collections webpage.
Records Not Subject to Specific Preservation Requirements
The University of Oregon Records Management Policy, which all UO employees must be aware of, lists the following material, amongst others, as eligible for disposal as soon as their business use cease:
- Messages on voice mail or on other telephone message storage and retrieval systems.
- University Public Records that are duplicates by reason of being photocopies or electronic copies.
- Transmittal and acknowledgment letters or emails.
- Spam, advertising, and announcements.
- Correspondence or notes pertaining to reservations of accommodations or scheduling of personal visits or appearances.
- Private emails or other messages or records that do not relate to University business or activities.
- Electronic text messages sent from one cellphone to another.
- Temporary records that may result from communication technologies (e.g., instant messaging, image messaging, and other multimedia mobile applications or technologies that may be developed and used in the future).
- Superseded drafts of letters or emails, minutes, notes, memoranda, reports, or articles.
- Desk, telephone, or meeting notes intended for temporary or personal use.
- Daily calendar or scheduling information.
- A stock of publications.
- Library and museum materials made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes.
- Any metadata associated with a Non-Subject Record.
If you are unable to find the information you need, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you navigate the schedule or will work with you to develop any necessary updates to the content of the RRS.