The University Records Retention Schedule defines which information at the University is considered a record, the minimum length of time the record must be kept, and its disposition. Disposition may mean destruction or transfer to the University Archive or the PEAK Digital Repository at Penrose Library.
Retention periods and dispositions are based on legal and regulatory requirements; standard practices; and the administrative, fiscal, legal and historic value of the content. The retention schedule applies to all record formats including, but not limited to, paper and electronic media. Records needed for audit or legal purposes must be kept until all actions have been resolved, despite the published retention period.
Updates to the schedule will be made to reflect changes in legal and regulatory requirements, standard practices, or administrative and operational needs. Over time record groups may change.
The University Records Retention Schedule includes a field titled "Retention Rules" which prescribes the manner by which records are to be disposed of at the end of the minimum retention period (e.g., store securely, destroy, destroy securely, transfer to DU Archives at Penrose Library, etc.). In the instance when destruction is prescribed, there must be a clear consensus among the User Department, Records Management Department and University Technology Services (in the case of electronic records) before actual destruction shall occur. Due to competing priorities among departments involved and workload demands within the User Department, retaining records beyond the minimum retention period, shall not constitute a departure from the University's Records Retention policy. When applicable, however, records should be destroyed as soon as practical in light of competing demands for time and resources.
If you are unable to locate a record group, or your division or department uses a different schedule, please contact the Records Management Department.
The 2011 University of Denver Retention Schedule replaces all previous retention schedules published for the University of Denver.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the Retention Schedule organized?
The retention schedule is divided into functional categories. The categories do not correspond to divisions or departments because most records groups are commonly used in departments and offices across campus. Each functional category lists multiple record groups, the length of time the records must be kept, and disposition requirements.
How do I search the Records Retention Schedule?
Search using the search box, or browse one of the following:
- Full schedule
- Functional schedule
Are there any exceptions to the retention periods listed on the retention schedule?
Yes. Records scheduled for destruction may sometimes be placed on legal or administrative hold. Holds are placed on records when they are audited, involved in litigation or otherwise requested by the courts or government. Records that are relevant to ongoing litigation or reasonably anticipated to relate to foreseeable legal action must be preserved without alteration.
Can I get rid of documents that aren't on the retention schedule?
Any document that is subject to a legal or administrative hold, whether or not it is a duplicate, may NOT be destroyed.
If your document is not on the retention schedule and it is NOT subject to a legal or administrative hold, you may dispose of it if:
1. The record is duplicated in a central unit, or
2. Your unit is preserving another copy of the record as the master copy.
If the record is unique to your department or none of the above is true, please contact the Records Management Department.
Temporary documents or duplicate records containing sensitive or personally identifiable information must be securely shredded in the course of business when no longer useful. Secure shredding conforms to PCI DSS compliance.
Non-sensitive documents created in the course of business that are no longer useful (minor drafts, incidental correspondence) may be recycled.