Records Retention Policy at Sarah Lawrence College
Table of Contents I. Purpose and Scope II. College Archives III. Definitions IV. Policy V. Procedures VI. General Retention Schedule VII. Addendum I. Purpose and Scope This policy and procedure provides for the systematic review, retention and destruction of documents received or created in the transaction of Sarah Lawrence College (“College”) business. The policy is designed to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, to eliminate accidental or innocent document destruction of records and to facilitate College operations by promoting efficiency and reducing unnecessary storage of documents. Approved by Senior Staff, this policy applies to all records of the College and is managed and implemented by the College Archives in consultation with the Vice President for Finance and Planning. Sarah Lawrence College retains and preserves vital records of its business and operations to preserve an historical record of the College, to ensure current and future operations, and to comply with its legal obligations. This policy and procedure applies to all College employees and faculty. II. College Archives The College Archives oversees the preservation and availability of official records of Sarah Lawrence College, an authority given to it in 1997 by the Board of Trustees. The College Archives acts as a central entity for the storage of records that have long-term value as well as those records deemed of permanent and, therefore, archival value to the College. Records that have been placed in the College Archives for permanent retention will be open for users according to the policies of the College Archives and within the discretion of the Archives staff. For more information, see the College Archives Access Policy (Attachment A). III. Definitions A. Record A record is anything containing information reflecting College educational and business transactions regardless of format (paper, digital, photographic, recordings, etc.). Typical records
Records Retention Policy Effective Date: 6/25/2009 Page 2 of 21
include official publications, fiscal data, incoming/outgoing correspondence including email, meeting minutes, reports, and student files. Not all records must be retained. The list below describes items in a typical office that are not classified as records and therefore do not need to be categorized or maintained. These materials may be destroyed at any time if they are no longer needed by the office holding them. These items will not appear on a retention schedule. - large quantities of duplicate materials and all duplicates of “official copies” - non-SLC published magazines and newspapers - published reports produced by other entities - purchased data from other sources - catalogues, journals or other printed matter created by other entities used for informational purposes - notes or working papers once a project is complete, unless they provide more complete information than the final report B. Active Records Records that are generally referred to once a month or that are needed to support the current business activity of an office or division. C. Inactive Records Records that have not been needed for at least one year or for which the active period has passed. Unless these records (both active and inactive) have been defined as permanent or archival records they should be destroyed according to the time period shown on the retention schedule. Inactive records should be securely stored until the end of the retention period. D. Permanent Records Also known as archival records, permanent records have historical, administrative, or research value to the College, which the College keeps indefinitely. The College Archives is responsible for ensuring that the College identifies these records and that they are transferred to the College Archives once they become inactive. The College...