Record Retention and Disposal (VIII.A.5)

Volume ­­VIII: Records
Chapter A: Records
Responsible Executive: Vice President for Ethics and Compliance
Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance
Date Issued: November 1, 2023
Date Last Revised: N/A


Statement of Policy
Reason for This Policy
Individuals and Entities Affected by This Policy
Definitions (defined terms are capitalized throughout the document)
Related Documents, Forms and Tools
Website Address for This Policy
History and Updates


Policy Clarification




Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance




All University Records are to be retained and disposed of in accordance with this policy and the supporting records retention schedules to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, meet the requirements of accrediting and other external agencies, promote prudent management practices, preserve university history, and optimize storage space and administrative time. Records subject to this policy are the property of the University and not of the officers, appointees, or employees who create them or to whom they are entrusted.


Effective records management ensures University Records of vital historical, fiscal, compliance and legal value are identified and preserved, and that non-essential records are discarded in a timely manner according to established guidelines and identified legislation. This policy assigns authority and responsibility for the retention and disposal of records to appropriate university officials for University Records maintained at all campuses and locations.


All units, faculty, staff and students of Purdue University are governed by this policy.


There are no exclusions to this policy.


Records Retention Committee

  • Coordinate with Unit Heads to maintain and promulgate university-level records retention schedules.
  • Advise Unit Heads in developing unit-level records retention schedules, as necessary.
  • Develop and maintain procedures and guidance to assist Unit Heads and Records Coordinators with meeting their responsibilities.
  • Advise Unit Heads and Records Coordinators on records management requirements, systems and services, including but not limited to storage and disposal methods.

Unit Heads

  • Provide input to the Records Retention Committee on university-level records retention schedules.
  • Develop and maintain a unit-specific retention schedule, as necessary, for any University Records not addressed in the university-level schedules maintained by the Records Retention Committee. Unit-level schedules must adhere to storage and disposal methods established by the Records Retention Committee. In the event of apparent conflict between a unit-level and university-level schedule, the provision(s) of the university-level schedule prevails.
  • Designate a Records Coordinator(s).
  • Oversee unit compliance with records retention schedules, including categorization of University Records within the unit, and with storage and disposal methods.
  • Provide substantive input to the Office of the VPEC for the development of training in support of this policy.

Records Coordinators

  • Provide assistance to the Unit Head in developing any unit-specific records retention schedules necessary.
  • Regularly monitor unit efforts to comply with records categorization, retention and disposal requirements for University Records in their unit.
  • Serve as a resource to others in their unit with questions regarding retention and disposal requirements.
  • Coordinate with legal counsel to identify and, as appropriate, segregate Evidentiary Records.

Information Technology

  • Provide infrastructure support for storage of University Records.
  • Assist units in the proper disposal of digital records.

Office of the VPEC

  • With substantive input from Unit Heads, oversee the development of training offerings to support this policy.

Office of Legal Counsel

  • Coordinate with the applicable Records Coordinator(s) to identify and, as appropriate, segregate Evidentiary Records.
  • Notify applicable Records Coordinator(s) when a record is no longer considered an Evidentiary Record.


All defined terms are capitalized throughout the document. Refer to the central Policy Glossary for additional defined terms.

Evidentiary Record
A University Record that involves or is related to any known or anticipated claim, liability, dispute, investigation, grievance, complaint, audit, and/or litigation.

Records Coordinator
Individuals responsible for implementing records retention and disposal processes for their organizational unit.

Records Retention Committee
The body charged with oversight for the University’s records retention program. The committee is chaired by the VPEC (or designee) and made up of representatives from Information Technology, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Human Resources, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the EVPR, and a designee of the Chancellor from each Regional Campus.

Unit Head
The President, Provost, Chancellors, vice presidents, vice provosts, vice chancellors, and deans.

University Record
Information in any form that is made, produced, maintained, or received in connection with the activities or execution of university business, including teaching, research, engagement, and administration. Examples include email and other correspondence, documents, photographs, videos, sound recordings, databases, spreadsheets, invoices and receipts, maps, books, etc.


Records Management website, which includes retention schedules, guidance, and lists of Records Officials and Records Coordinators.



November 1, 2023: This policy supersedes Assignment of Authority and Responsibility for the Retention and Disposal of University Records (V.B.3).


There are no appendices to this policy.

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2020 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by University Policy Office

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact University Policy Office at