Destruction of Records

Non-permanent records are eligible for destruction after a predetermined time. Unless there are legal reasons (pending audit, open records request, or legal action) that require a litigation hold upon specific records, non-current records should be destroyed when the mandated retention period has ended.

Destroying records in your department

When records have reached the end of their retention period as defined by the State Model University Records Retention Schedule, they should be destroyed.

The only exceptions to this are in cases of active or pending legal action, audit, subpoena, or open records request. Under no circumstances will employees permit the destruction or loss of records, in electronic or hard copy, if the employee has any reason to believe that the records are related to any current open records request, subpoena, litigation, investigation, audit, or other governmental proceeding.

Before destroying non-permanent records, contact University Archives and request a Records Destruction Certificate. Archives staff will help in completing the certificate, which lists the types, as well as the volume and date span of the records ready for destruction. The Director of the University Archives and the Department Head sign off on the certificate. The destruction certificate, required under state regulations, provides the University with a record that materials were properly and legally destroyed.

It is important to destroy confidential records properly. Confidential records contain personally identifiable information such as social security numbers, home addresses, telephone numbers, personnel actions, grades, medical information, etc. These records should be destroyed by shredding. U of L has a contract in place to provide secure and confidential destruction services for University records. The University Archives can place you in contact with the contracted vendor. Units are responsible for paying for the shredding of their confidential records.

Records that are not confidential may be put in the trash or recycling bins.

Destroying records held by the University Archives and Records Center

Archives staff hold destruction cycles annually. Once per year, UARC staff generate a report of all records eligible for destruction in that year and contact the offices of origin for those records for formal permission to destroy the records. Again, unless there are compelling legal reasons (pending audit, open records request, or legal action) to place a litigation hold upon specific records, non-current records should be destroyed when the mandated retention period has ended. The request for permission to destroy records will include an estimated cost for the destruction of the records based upon the University’s current service contract for shredding services.

Once permission has been received from the office of origin, UARC staff will arrange for the shredding vendor to come to the warehouse to destroy the records. The shredding vendor will then invoice the department for the records destroyed. The University Archives does not charge for destruction over and above the vendor’s own charges. The cost will be the same as if the records were destroyed from within your own department.

Once the destruction is completed, UARC staff will send to you a certificate of destruction indicating the material destroyed and the date. Keep this certificate for your records to show that the records were destroyed according to state and University policy.