Business and Finance


Records Retention Schedule Guidelines

Below are the Clarke University guidelines for the implementation of the records retention schedule

Records Retention Schedule 

The Records Retention Schedule is a guideline that sets forth the length of time records are recommended to be retained. This guideline applies to all records listed on the schedule to the extent they are maintained by the university, including storage areas. The schedule is intended to cover all university records for which there is a legal, regulatory or management retention requirement.

The records retention schedule applies to records in the inactive phase of their life cycle. The inactive phase of a record begins at the conclusion of an ongoing matter, such as completion of a contract or research pursuant to a grant. Unless otherwise specified, the retention period set forth in the schedule begins at this point in time.

There are records for which there is no legal, regulatory or management retention requirement and those records should be authorized for destruction by the senior officer of each administrative or academic office of responsibility. It is recommended that such records be disposed of as early as the end of the active phase of their life cycle. Similarly, records that are duplicates should be disposed of as early as practical, unless the retention schedule requires otherwise.

Storage and Disposition

As discussed in the "Guidelines for the Destruction of Confidential Records," offices of responsibility should authorize destruction of confidential records in ways appropriate with their confidentiality. The records retention schedule is the guide for determining how long records should be retained and maintained. It is the option of the responsible office whether to maintain records in that office or in the storage area, in paper or alternate format, such as digital formats, so long as the record is authorized for destruction and disposed of in accordance with the records retention schedule. A retention period must be assigned to and noted on all records transferred to the storage area.

Digital or electronic records. Disposition of records created, retained, or stored in information systems or computers should proceed on the same basis as traditional records. Digital or electronic records for which there is no retention requirement, such as e-mail, should be deleted promptly.

The university network files and Datatel information system are backed up nightly, seven days a week by the information technology office.  The day one tape is put in the tape drive on the 1st day of the month and runs that night; the day two tape is used on the 2nd day of the month, and so on.  Network and Datatel tapes are rotated on a monthly basis.  All day one tapes are kept off-site. 


Upon notification of legal process (subpoena, summons, etc), or upon learning of an investigation or audit, or if a claim is made, whether formal or informal, or a dispute arises, the record retention schedule shall be suspended and records related to the legal process, claim, dispute, investigation or audit should not be destroyed.

Back to Record Retention Schedules 
Updated 06/01/09

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