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Records Management & Archives Handbook: Records Retention Schedules

Statement

An authorized records retention schedule establishes the period during which a department keeps and maintains the records it creates or receives. It also authorizes the department to dispose of records at the end of the retention period, either by transferring the records to the University Archives or another specified department, or by destroying the records in a specific way. Records retention schedules demonstrate that Marywood University is routinely disposing of inactive records in the course of normal business operations, according to legal requirements, professional recommendations, or historical value to the University.

A number of general records retention schedules apply to general records series that exist in several departments throughout the University.

Marywood University’s records retention schedules contain three sections that document the following information:

Records Series Information

Title—the title of the records series

Description—a brief summary of the records in the records series

Status—an indication of whether the records series is vital or non-vital

Protective Measures—the steps taken to protect vital records in case of a disaster

Record Copy Holder—the department that holds responsibility for and custody of the record copy of the records series; this is not necessarily the creator of the records, nor is the record copy necessarily the original copy of the records

Schedule

Record Copy Retention—the period of time for which the University must keep the record copy of the records series

Record Copy Disposition—the action to be taken regarding the record copy of the records series after the retention period

Other Copy Retention—the period of time other copies (non-record copies) of records must be kept

Other Copy Disposition—the action to be taken regarding other copies (non-record copies) of records after the retention period

Reference—the legal or professional basis for the records retention schedule

Approval and Authorization

Additional Reference(s)—additional legal or professional bases for the records retention schedule

Authorization Date—the date on which the most recent version of the records retention schedule went into effect

Schedule History—the history of the particular records retention schedule

Records retention schedules are approved for authorization when they have been signed by the Department Records Coordinator and the Director of Records Management and Archives. Approved records retention schedules are then authorized for implementation with the signature of the Head of the Department.

All of Marywood University’s non-restricted, authorized records retention schedules may be viewed online.

If it becomes necessary to suspend destruction of University records, due to an audit, pending litigation, or other circumstances, the Director of Records Management and Archives will notify all affected departments. See Suspension of Records Disposition.

If an authorized records retention schedule does not meet the needs of a department, the schedule can be revised; however, this process takes place only through the Records Management and Archives Department.

Definitions

General Records are those for which record copies exist in two or more departments. Example: Faculty Copies of Student Records.

General Records Retention Schedules apply to records series in which record copies exist in two or more departments throughout the University.

Procedures

  1. The department retains and disposes of the records in its custody only according to authorized records retention schedules.
  2. When the Department Records Survey and Inventory is complete, the Director of Records Management and Archives conducts legal research to determine any federal or state legislation that governs each of the department’s records series.
  3. The Director of Records Management and Archives writes a records retention schedule for each records series, in accordance with regulations of government agencies and recommendations of professional associations and professional opinions of University administrators.
  4. The Head of the Department and the Department Records Coordinator review the retention schedules and negotiate any revisions with the Director of Records Management and Archives. When they reach agreement about a retention schedule, each of these people signs the schedule, indicating his or her approval. The signature of the Head of the Department authorizes the schedules for implementation.
  5. To request the drafting or changing of records retention schedules or revision of existing ones, departments contact the Director of Records Management and Archives.

Records Management & Archives | Learning Resources Center, Room 317