Every paper or digital record has a specific minimum length of time it is to be kept. This is called a retention period. Retention for each records series is list in the USG Retention Schedules.

Once the retention period for the records series has ended, records are eligible for disposal using the following methods:

Shred - Confidential and sensitive records containing personally identifiable information (PII) related to students and employees. PII may include account details, social security numbers, student identification (SID) information, date of birth, or grades. 

Recycle - Records that are not confidential and do not contain any personally identifiable information (PII) indicated above.

Delete - Digital records that are not classified as permanent retention. For tips on identifying and deleting electronic records that have met retention, see the UWG E-Records page.

Transfer - Paper and digital records require prior approval before being transferred to another department. Records may be transferred for legal, fiscal, or administrative purposes, historical value, the designated “office of record” changes, or the unit is dissolved or restructured.

When boxes are transferred to storage, it is understood:

  • Departments are responsible for accurately identifying and communicating the contents of the boxes they submit for storage.
  • Departments are responsible for all costs of record shredding or recycling. 
  • Departments will maintain a disposition log for all records transferred to off-site storage. 
  • Boxes stored off-site are not destroyed without formal signed authorization. 
  • It is the responsibility of the signatories to ensure that the records in question are not on destruction hold because of litigation, audit, or public records request.

Caution: Be aware that all records pertaining to ongoing or pending audits, lawsuits (or even reasonably anticipated lawsuits), or public disclosure proceedings are said to be on destruction hold and must not be altered or destroyed until the hold has been lifted and the records have met their retention.

The following materials are considered to have no administrative, legal, fiscal or archival requirements for their retention and are classified as an non-record. There is no specific retention period for non-records so they may be disposed of as soon as they have served their reference purpose. Once its usefulness has been served, delete, shred, or recycle as appropriate. 

  • Document Errors
    Incorrect versions of documents, forms or reports that had to be regenerated in order to correct errors in typing, data entry, spelling, grammar, or format.
  • Drafts
    Drafts may be disposed of as soon as the document is finalized and are no longer needed for reference purposes.
  • Duplicates
    Extra copies of correspondence, completed forms, bulletins, statistics, reports, hardcopy printouts from a database (including e-procurement purchase orders and reports), electronic files extracted from a master file or database, mailing lists, etc., used only for reference or informational distribution.

The following electronic records do not have to be saved or printed because they are extracted from a master file or database. Reports printed from a database are considered duplicates and can be destroyed as soon as they have served their reference purpose. They will be visible and accessible for their full retention period in the system of record and can be reprinted as needed. You should never print e-mails - the official copy is the original digital version.

Retention: May be disposed of as soon as the reference purpose has been served. Please shred, recycle or delete as appropriate.

Extracted Data
Documents derived from a master file or database in the form of statistics, reports, hardcopy printouts, mailing lists, auto-generated notifications and reminders, etc. Includes emails. These records will be visible and accessible for their full retention period in the system of record and can be reprinted as needed.

Informal Notifications/Communications
Communications and postings that do not relate to the functional responsibility of the department (i.e., announcements of meetings, reservations, confirmations, itineraries, acknowledgements, form-letter thank you notes, etc.)

Organizing/Monitoring Work in Progress
Records relating to the assigning, prioritizing, tracking/monitoring and status of work/projects in progress. This activity can occur in workflow notifications, status logs, Excel, electronic tracking applications such as Trello, etc. 

Lists and Logs
Lists/logs containing information tracked by a department from which elements are superseded as new data/information is received, where not covered by a more specific records series.

Published Reference Materials
Printed materials received from other UWG offices, vendors or other non-UWG institutions, which require no action and are not needed for documentary purposes. May include technical reports/studies, magazines, catalogs, periodicals, flyers, announcements, newsletters and other widely distributed printed materials received by a UWG office.

Requests for Information
Internal and external requests for routine information. Includes responses to requests for routine, standardized information applicable to any requestor in a comparable situation.

Stocks of Publications
Supplies (multiple copies) of departmentally-produced printed documents which are superseded, obsolete or otherwise valueless. May include program brochures, booklets, flyers, forms, catalogs, directories, manuals, posters and other informational materials produced by a department for wide distribution. Note: One copy of all UWG publications must be retained.

Transmittal Memos
Emails or fax cover sheets that accompany an attachment, document, report, form, etc., that do not add any substantive information to the transmitted material.