Record Management and Destruction Policy
I. Policy Title: Record Management and Destruction Policy
II. Who Does This Policy Affect
All HFC Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that necessary records and documents are adequately protected and maintained and to ensure that records that are no longer needed by the College or are of no value are discarded at the proper time and in the proper manner. This policy is part of document management, rather than simply document retention; holding on to documents too long is an unnecessary expense. Also some documents may be worth saving for the community’s sake or for the sake of the College that go beyond these legal guidelines This policy will serve as an aid and standard for employees of the College in understanding their obligations in retaining physical records and electronic documents, including e‐mail, web files, text files, sound and movie files, PDF documents, and all other formatted files.
IV. Policy Statement
This policy covers all records and documents, regardless of physical form, and contains guidelines for how long certain documents should be kept and how records should be destroyed. The policy is designed to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, to eliminate accidental or innocent destruction of records and to facilitate the operation of the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (“EREF”) by promoting efficiency and freeing up valuable storage space.
The standard method of destruction is by shredding. Destruction of records may occur on-site or through an outside vendor who has provided written assurance of confidentiality. All destruction of records should be conducted in a secure and confidential manner.
Note: No record list can be exhaustive. Questions regarding the retention period for any specific record or class of records not included in these tables should be addressed to the applicable Vice President or the Legal Department.
Caution: Departments and units that are not official repositories and that retain duplicate or multiple copies of these College records should dispose of them when they are no longer needed.
Electronic Mail (“e-mail”): Not all e-mail must be retained. Length of retention depends on the subject matter.
Staff shall retain all business- related e-mails by saving/transferring those items to archived folders no later than every six (6) months from the date the e-mail was received. If e-mail chains are to be retained, only the last communication in chain should be saved/transferred to the archive file. Business e-mails that should be retained include those that involve completed and ongoing transactions and matters within the scope of the employee’s job responsibility. Questions as to e-mails to be retained should be directed to the employee’s supervisor. Files attached to e-mails should be separately retained in accordance with document retention provisions of the category of this policy applicable to the document.
E-mails that are not saved/transferred to archived folders such as personal e-mails, spam and duplicative e-mails, should be deleted no later than every six (6) months unless otherwise instructed by legal mandates. The IT Department will retain deleted e-mails for 12 months.
Employees shall not store or transfer HFCrelated e-mail on non-work-related computers except as necessary or appropriate for legitimate business purposes as authorized by the applicable Vice-President.
Electronic Records (including Microsoft Office Suite and PDF files): The length of required retention depends on the subject matter of the record and these electronic records shall be retained in accordance with the periods applicable to the subject matter of the record, which shall be specified in the Record Management and Destruction Schedule on the College’s website.
Web Page Files: Internet Cookies
All workstations: The User’s Internet Browser should be scheduled to delete Internet cookies once per month.
In certain cases, a record will be maintained in both paper and electronic form according to legal requirements or department practices. In such cases the official record will be the electronic record.
- Record – A record, writing, e-mail or other data or information storage mode with current administrative use for the unit that generated it. Records remain active for varying numbers of years, depending on the purpose for which they were created.
- Retention Period– The amount of time that a record must be kept before it is destroyed, as specified in the Record Management and Destruction Schedule.
- Official Repository– The Department designated as having responsibility for retention and timely destruction of particular types of official College records.
VI. Responsible Party for Administration and Enforcement
Vice President of Institutional Research, Planning and Accreditation.
VII. Related Documents
College-wide Record Retention and Destruction Schedule
State of Michigan Retention and Destruction Schedule for Colleges and Universities
Preservation of Documents Subject to Litigation
VIII. Policy History:
a. Current Policy Approved by Board: October 21, 2019
This policy supersedes and replaces any and all policies related to this subject