OUS Oregon University System records retention schedule

UO Records Retention Schedule

The site is intended to serve the needs of campus users. If you are having any difficulty searching, using, or understanding the Records Retention Schedule or the site, please contact the Electronic Records Archivist, Kira Homo (6-2487, khomo@uoregon.edu).

  • For basic access to the records retention schedule, please use the links to record series based on functional sections.

Notice of Revision

The records retention schedule is now updated with the Oregon Administrative Rules filed through July 15, 2010.

What's a Records Retention Schedule?

A Records Retention Schedule is an important element in a system to identify and manage the records that document the activities and history of an organization. A Records Retention Schedule sorts out the important kinds of documents and specifies how long they have to be retained, for legal and for historical purposes. Most organizations create vast numbers of records, and can't afford to manage and perpetually maintain all of them; a good Schedule specifies which records need attention so unimportant items can be routinely discarded. Other elements in the records management system include a good tracking mechanism; strict methods of maintaining confidentiality; and active, effective communication between record creators, users and the Records Manager.

A Records Manager is a highly specialized information professional who is trained to analyze, inventory and describe records series to facilitate management and preserve organizational history. The University Records Manager (currently the Electronic Records Archivist) is responsible for creating and implementing the Records Retention Schedule, overseeing the timely and confidential destruction of outdated records, and working with record creators and users to ensure the system operates effectively and usefully. In addition to the University Records Manager's responsibilities, the University Historian/Archivist curates and preserves the rich historical trove of the permanent collections, and helps make them broadly accessible to students and researchers through presentations, exhibits, reference service, and active community involvement. In a single day, the University Archives may work with a historical document from the 1860s, photographs from the Rose Bowl, last year's e-mail about curriculum revisions, a poster from the Elvis concert at Mac Court, a microfilmed dissertation from 1980, and 500 linear feet of admissions records that have outlived their prescribed lifespan.

Navigating this Site

If you don't know the name of a record series, you can probably find it by consulting the Functional Sections, which are organized by the purpose of the record. For example, if you have a question about admission documents, you can look at the Functional Sections and figure out that admissions records will be part of the Student Records section, and follow the links to the precise series you want.

Understanding and Using the Schedule

The Oregon University System Records Retention Schedule was developed as a joint project between the archivists of the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and the Chancellor's Office of the Oregon University System. This electronic version replaces the paper Records Manual last issued in 1996. This schedule has been customized for the University of Oregon to include information regarding the holder of the record copy of each series at the UO. In keeping with the commitment of University Archives to improve distribution of information to the campus community and in order to assist in the reduction of paper use, we are making the schedule available only on the Internet. The University Archivist will retain one paper copy; University Archives will print no additional copies. Please remember that if you choose to rely on a printout from the Schedule, you cannot be assured that the printed information is still valid.

The Records Schedule is an Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR 166-475) and subject to all applicable laws and regulations. It is also a "minimum/maximum" schedule, which means that records are to be kept by University offices for as long as the retention period and no longer. To meet legal and fiscal obligations, it is very important to destroy records in a timely, regular, and appropriate fashion. Please consult our Procedure for Confidential Document Destruction for information on how to properly destroy confidential information.

This Schedule is a descriptive, not a prescriptive, document. This means that the records series described were developed by inventorying, analyzing, and describing the records of representative offices of the University. The series describe records as they are kept by many units; the series do not prescribe how offices and departments should or must keep their records. Offices that don't have records as described in the schedule need not be concerned that they are in violation of state law and rules.

Minimum-Maximum Rule: The retention periods listed in the University Records Retention and Disposition Schedule are both "minimum" and "maximum" retention periods as established in state administrative rules. Minimum and maximum retention periods mean that a record series must be kept as long as the retention period listed in the schedule, but no longer. It must be kept for the length of the retention period and then promptly disposed of as directed by the schedule.

Exceptions to the Maximum Rule: There are exceptions to the maximum retention period rule. Records may be kept for a period of time exceeding the established retention period if they are involved in litigation, criminal or civil investigation, audit, or continuing administrative use. Under no circumstances, however, is a record to be kept for a shorter time period than the schedule requires.

Some of the series in the schedule may seem outdated or irrelevant to current practices. For a variety of reasons, it is still important to have these series in the schedule: some of the records in an outdated series may not be past their retention period, and some of the institutions in the University System may still be using those types of records. The existence of a records series in the schedule does not mandate its creation or use by the University of Oregon.

Format

Quick and easy use of the following schedule is dependent upon understanding the meaning of each component of a record series disposition.

Number within the section of the Administrative Rule. Title of the record series

Alternative titles for the record series and index entries. The series description generally consists of two components: a use or purpose statement and a content statement.
Record Copy: Indicates the holder of the official or record copy.
Retention: Designates the period of time that the record copy must be retained.

Other Copies: Indicates holders of additional copies.
Retention: Designates the period of time that the other copy or copies of a record series must be retained.

keyCONFIDENTIAL DESTRUCTION: This symbol indicates that a record series requires special treatment to ensure that confidentiality is retained while the record is being destroyed.

Example

10. Awards Records

Alumni Awards, Fellowships, Scholarships

This series documents the process of selecting institutional faculty, staff, students and alumni to receive awards, fellowships, and scholarships based on merit or achievement. The series may include but is not limited to: applications; nomination letters; eligibility terms and selection criteria; recommendations; transcripts; letters of award notification or denial; letters accepting or declining awards; summary lists of winners; biographies; demonstration of need documentation; newspaper clippings and press releases; award history and information on funding sources; and related documentation and correspondence.

Record Copy: Administering Units
Retention: (a) Permanent for eligibility terms and selection criteria, award history and information on funding sources, award notifications, summary lists of winners, biographies of winners, and press releases; (b) 1 year for all other records.
Other Copies:
Retention: 1 year

The site is intended to serve the needs of campus users. If you are having any difficulty searching, using, or understanding the Records Retention Schedule or the site, please contact the Electronic Records Archivist.