1. Home
  2. A to Z Index
  3. Record Retention and Destruction Policy
  1. Home
  2. Academic Affairs and Faculty
  3. Record Retention and Destruction Policy
  1. Home
  2. Admissions And Financial Aid
  3. Record Retention and Destruction Policy
  1. Home
  2. Business Affairs and Finance
  3. Record Retention and Destruction Policy
  1. Home
  2. Governance and Legal
  3. Record Retention and Destruction Policy
  1. Home
  2. Employee Engagement
  3. Record Retention and Destruction Policy
  1. Home
  2. Information Technology
  3. Record Retention and Destruction Policy
  1. Home
  2. Institutional Advancement
  3. Record Retention and Destruction Policy
  1. Home
  2. Student Affairs
  3. Record Retention and Destruction Policy
  1. Home
  2. General Campus Policies
  3. Record Retention and Destruction Policy

Record Retention and Destruction Policy

Policy Author:
Office of Business Affairs

Responsible Office – Department:
Office of Business Affairs

Effective Date of Policy:

I. Policy

This policy represents the Daemen University policy regarding the retention and disposal of records, including the retention and disposal of electronic records.  Daemen University requires consistent treatment of records and that the maintenance, retention, and disposal procedures for university records must be followed systematically by faculty, staff and administrators.

This policy sets forth procedures for the management, the maintenance, retention and disposal of all Daemen University records, and is intended to ensure that the university meets legal and regulatory standards and requirements under state and federal law; to properly manage the use of electronic records as well as paper records; to preserve the history of the university; and to dispose of outdated records.

University records are the property of Daemen University and not of the officers, faculty members or employees who create them or to whom they are entrusted.

To the maximum extent practicable, all employees and officials of the university with responsibilities for the creation, retention, maintenance and destruction of records of the university shall capture paper records electronically and enact measures to ensure that the records of the university are electronic and not paper based.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to identify and apply best business practices to the protection, maintenance, retention and disposal of Daemen University electronic and paper records, in accordance with state and federal requirements. The policy is also established for the purpose of aiding faculty, staff and administrators of Daemen University in understanding their obligations as employees, in retaining, maintaining, protecting and properly disposing of records of the university.

III. Definitions

For the purpose of the Daemen University Record Retention and Destruction Policy, the term “record” shall be defined as follows:

General: A record shall be interpreted to mean any papers, books, photographs, tapes, films, recordings, or other documents or any copies of such documents, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made, produced, executed, or received by any department or office of the university or by any academic or administrative staff member in connection with the transaction of official Daemen University business.  Official records are the records maintained by the various university academic or administrative units as required under this policy, including but not limited to the following:

  • All financial records, bonds records, student billings and loan records, and contracts or grants binding the university to business transactions
  • Student academic records
  • Records pertaining to all activities of the faculty of the university
  • Personnel records, payroll records, including insurance and employee benefit records, information regarding employee evaluations and recruitment and retention of employees of the university
  • Records of the meetings of the Board of Trustees, the Cabinet, the President’s Community Advisory Board, and President’s Advisory Committee

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 items will not traditionally appear on a retention schedule:

  • Large quantities of duplicate materials and all duplicates of official copies
  • Non-Daemen University published magazines and newspapers
  • Published reports produced by other entities
  • Purchased data from other sources
  • Blank letterhead or other blank forms
  • Routing slips or telephone messages
  • Catalogues, journals, or other printed matter used for information purposes
  • Routine letters of transmittal and “for your information” notes
  • Notices or memoranda that give only timely information such as a change of venue for a meeting
  • Notes or working papers once a project is completed, unless they provide more complete information than the final

Active Record: An active record shall be defined as any original record that is in current use by an office, employee, or officer, or as part of an official function of the university.

Inactive Record:  An inactive record shall be defined as any record that is no longer in active record status, but still must be maintained pursuant to the Record Retention Schedule included under this policy as Appendix A, set forth below.

Archival Record: An archival record shall be defined as an inactive university record that has permanent or historic value, and is not required to be retained in the office in which it originated or was received. Archival records, or “permanent records,” including but are not limited to, minutes of Board of Trustee meetings; architectural drawings, blueprints, and site plans for facilities on the Daemen University campus and any off-site buildings or facilities owned by the university; real estate records; certain IRS rulings and records; endowment and donor agreements; committee work resulting in university policies; photographs, correspondence and office files relevant to the history of Daemen University; or other documents of historical significance.

Such records shall be maintained and permanently preserved by the Vice President for Business Affairs in a university repository specifically established for the retention of such historic records.

Electronic Record: The term “electronic record” means any official university record that is created, received, maintained or stored on any university employee workstations, centralized Daemen University servers, or external or offsite electronic storage medium. It should be noted that the same retention and destruction requirements for paper-based records shall apply to the electronic records of the university.

Record with Personal Information: A record with personal information is a record that include an individual’s name or personal mark together with that individual’s social security number; drivers license number or other government identification card number; financial account number, credit or debit card number, or any number or code which may be used alone or in conjunction with another piece of information to assume the identity of another person, access financial resources, or obtain credit information. Personal information is highly sensitive and must be safeguarded and secured at all times.

IV. Administration of Record Retention and Destruction Policy


  1. The university shall generate, use, maintain, store, retain and destroy records in accordance with this policy, the Record Retention Schedule included under this policy as Appendix A, and all requirements of applicable federal, state and local law, regulations,  or accreditation.
  2. To the maximum extent possible, all paper records shall be converted to electronic records which shall be secured and controlled in accordance with this policy.
  3. All university personnel who have access to, create or use records are responsible for ensuring that records are generated, used, maintained, stored, retained and destroyed in accordance with this policy.
  4. All records are the property of Daemen University and university personnel have no personal or property rights to any records unless otherwise expressly agreed to in writing by the university.
  5. Unauthorized removal, modification, or destruction of records from the university repository is prohibited.
  6. Unless subject to the Litigation Hold Policy and other records retention and destruction provisions contained in this policy document, records may be destroyed or disposed of upon completion of their use after the expiration of their retention period.
  7. The unauthorized alteration, use or disclosure of a record is prohibited and any employee of the university who inappropriately alters a record, or removes, uses or discloses a record without authorization, shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Administration of Policy and Records Custodians

Administrator—The Vice President for Business Affairs shall serve as the official administrator for the Record Retention and Destruction Policy of the university and shall maintain both a physical and an electronic archive or repository (hereinafter referred to as “the Repository”) for the records of the university. In carrying out these responsibilities, the administrator shall be responsible for the implementation of this policy across all departments and administrative units that use and maintain university records in any format.

The Administrator’s responsibilities shall include supervising and coordinating the retention and destruction of documents pursuant to this policy and monitoring compliance with the policy, including reviewing adherence to the Record Retention Schedule included as Appendix A.

The Administrator may also modify the Record Retention Schedule from time to time as necessary to comply with local, state and federal government law and/or to include additional or revised document categories as may be appropriate to reflect organizational policies and procedures.  The Administrator is also authorized to periodically review this policy and policy compliance with the cabinet and/or legal counsel and to report to the Board of Trustees as may be required to keep the board informed of policy compliance.

The Administrator may also appoint one or more assistants to assist them in carrying out their responsibilities under this policy. However, ultimate responsibility for determining compliance with this policy remains with the administrator.

The Administrator is authorized to develop procedures concerning the review, oversight and governance of this policy, including providing training to department or administrative unit officials and their staff.

Accountability for Records— In coordination with the administrator, each department chair or official charged with supervision of an administrative unit at the university, shall be responsible for implementing this policy within his or her department or unit, consistent with the procedures developed by the administrator. Such officials shall be responsible for ensuring that everyone in the academic department, administrative office, or unit is aware of the Records Retention and Destruction Policy and complies with it. 

Senior officials, including members of the President’s Cabinet, have the responsibility and accountability for monitoring the retention, maintenance, and disposition of records in the departments and administrative units that fall under their jurisdiction, in accordance with this policy and reviewing the implementation of any procedures established by the administrator.  The following senior officials are accountable for specific record categories at the university:

  • Vice President for Business Affairsall financial records, bond records, student billings and loan records, contracts binding the university to business transactions and financial records attributable to grants awarded to the university
  • Provost: all records pertaining to the activities of the faculty of the university
  • Registrarall student academic records
  • Director of Employee Engagement: all personnel records, payroll records, including insurance and employee benefit records, information regarding employee evaluations and recruitment and retention of employees of the university
  • Office of the President: in coordination with the Secretary of the Board of Trustees, records of the meetings of the Board of Trustees; records of meetings of or decisions by the cabinet; and the activities of the President’s Advisory Board, and the President’s Advisory Council

Responsibilities of Daemen University Employees—It is the responsibility of all of the university’s employees, including staff, faculty, administrators, volunteers, and work study workers, to be familiar with this policy and act in  accordance therewith.

In carrying out their duties and responsibilities regarding the Record Retention and Destruction Policy of the university, all employees shall refer to and comply with, the Record Retention Schedule under Appendix of this policy document.

Failure on the part of employees to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against the university and its employees, and possible disciplinary action against responsible university employees.

If an employee has determined that a record has become inactive, as defined in this policy, but the applicable retention period has not yet expired, the employee should ensure that the record is properly retained in accordance with this policy.

If an employee determines that he or she is in possession of archival records, as defined in this policy, and the applicable retention period has expired, such records shall be properly stored in the repository, after consultation with the administrator.

If an employee determines that an active record is not an archival record, and the applicable retention period has expired, such records should be destroyed in one of the following ways:

  • Recycle non-confidential paper records that do not contain personal information.
  • Records that do contain personal information, must be redacted, burned, pulverized, shredded or otherwise destroyed in accordance with New York Business Law Section 399-h, so that personal information cannot practicably be read or reconstructed.
  • Electronic records and other non-paper media containing personal information shall also be destroyed or erased in accordance with best practices identified by the State of New York and federal government, so that personal information cannot practicably be read or reconstructed. Employees should contact the Office of the Vice President of Information Technology to ensure that appropriate methods are used to ensure that electronic media are destroyed effectively and lawfully.

In carrying out these record destruction actions, such actions shall be taken by all employees consistent with commonly accepted industry practices that the university reasonably believes will ensure that no unauthorized person will have access to the personal identifying information contained in the record.

V. Litigation Hold Policy

Daemen University has a duty to preserve potentially relevant information, including information stored electronically, when litigation has been filed; when the university reasonably anticipates litigation, an audit or government investigation; or when the university receives actual notice of an investigation.  It is the purpose of this Litigation Hold Policy to provide a reasonable, defensible and cost-effective legal hold process that can withstand judicial scrutiny.

Therefore, if the university becomes aware that litigation, a governmental audit or a government or non-governmental investigation has been instituted, or is reasonably anticipated or contemplated, the administrator, after consultation with the president and/or legal counsel, shall immediately order a halt to all document destruction under the Record Retention and Destruction Policy, communicating the order to all affected constituencies in writing, with a written response and acknowledgement required.

The Litigation Hold notice from the administrator must communicate to the appropriate custodians of the university records, the purpose of the legal hold; the scope of what needs to be preserved; and the potential consequences to the university and its employees if they fail to properly meet such litigation hold policy obligations.

The administrator, after consultation with the president and/or legal counsel, shall suspend the university’s regular document retention or destruction policy to prevent the loss of potentially relevant information. The administrator, after such consultation, shall also submit regular reminders and subsequent notices to custodians of records on campus, to ensure that they are fulfilling their obligations under the Litigation Hold order in place.

Legal holds supersede any records retention schedule, and university records subject to pending legal holds must be preserved even if the applicable retention period under the Record Retention Schedule has expired.

The administrator may thereafter amend or rescind the order only after conferring with the president of the university, and, if necessary, legal counsel.  If any member of the Board of Trustees or officers or other employees of the university become aware that litigation, a governmental audit or a government investigation has been instituted, or is reasonably anticipated or contemplated, with respect to the university, and they are not sure whether the administrator is aware of it, they shall make the administrator and the president aware of it.

Failure to comply with this policy, including failure to comply with any destruction halt order or other element of a Litigation Hold order, could result in possible civil or criminal sanctions against the university.  In addition, for employees of the university, such failure to fulfill their obligations under a Litigation Hold notice and order could lead to disciplinary action, including possible termination.


Academic Personnel:
Academic Search Records3 years
Annual Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statements4 years
GrievancesNo cause findings -3 years from determination
Cause findings – permanent
Tenure or Promotion ReportsUntil separation from service
Accounting and Finance:
Accounts payable ledgers and schedules7 years
Accounts receivable ledgers and schedules7 years
Annual audit reports and financial statementsPermanent
Annual audit records, including work papers and documents that relate to the audit7 years after completion of audit
Annual plans and budgets2 years
Bank statements and canceled checks7 years
Credit card receipts3 years
Employee expense reports7 years
General ledgersPermanent
Interim financial statements7 years
Notes receivable ledgers and schedules7 years
Investment records7 years
Admissions data for applicants not enrolling
(whether accepted or rejected):
Applications for admission or readmission, correspondence that is relevant, test scores, letters of recommendation, transcripts, essay, and other achievements3 years
Admissions data for applicants who enroll:
Application, acceptance letters, essay, and other achievements5 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Letters of recommendation, test scores, relevant correspondence, copies of the application acceptance letter, essay, transcript,
and other achievements
3 years
Student waivers for Right of Accessuntil graduation/date of last attendance
Official transcripts-high school, other college, or other academic institution7 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Bursar and Financial Aid Records:
Student loan records3 years after loan repaid, canceled or assigned to Dept. of Education if not being audited
Financial Aid awards, grants, fellowships, scholarships (including Federal Work Study and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants)Unsuccessful applicants: 3 years
Successful applicants: 4 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Billing records7 years after paid
Contracts and related correspondence (including any that resulted in the contract and all other supportive documentation)7 years after expiration or proposal termination
Contribution Records:
Records of contributionsPermanent
Daemen University’s or other documents evidencing terms of giftsPermanent
Corporate Records:
Corporate records (minute books, signed minutes of the boards and all committees, corporate reports)Permanent
Licenses and permitsPermanent

General Principle: Most correspondence and internal memoranda should be retained for the same period as the document they pertain to or support.  For instance, a letter pertaining to a particular contract would be retained as long as the contract (7 years after expiration).  It is recommended that records that support a particular project be kept with the project and take on the retention time of that particular project file.

Correspondence or memoranda that do not pertain to documents having a prescribed retention period should generally be discarded sooner.  These may be divided into two general categories:

Those pertaining to routine matters and having no significant, lasting consequences should be discarded within two years. Some examples include:

  • Routine letters and notes that require no acknowledgement or follow-up, such as notes of appreciation, congratulations, letters of transmittal, and plans for meetings.
  • Form letters that require no follow-up.
  • Letters of general inquiry and replies that complete a cycle of correspondence.
  • Letters or complaints requesting specific action that have no further value after changes are made or action taken (such as name or address change).
  • Other letters of inconsequential subject matter or that definitely close correspondence to which no further reference will be necessary.
  • Chronological correspondence files.

Please note that copies of interoffice correspondence and documents where a copy will be in the originating department file should be read and destroyed unless that information provides reference to or direction to other documents and must be kept for project traceability.

Those pertaining to non-routine matters or having significant lasting consequences should generally be retained permanently.


General Principles: File maintenance of electronic records requires coordination among the places on campus where they are stored – hard-drives on desktops, laptops, on shared drives (network systems), and on removable storage media—and with the Office of Information Technology.

Electronic records stored on computers should be retained for as long as they are deemed necessary for the productive use of campus faculty and employees.  Vital electronic records, including archival records, should not be deleted from employee or faculty email accounts, and should be saved on employee and faculty computers as well as in a campus-wide backup storage site.

Any electronic record that needs to be kept for a retention period longer than seven (7) years should be maintained in an electronic format and the equipment needed to read or access the information kept and maintained for the same period of time. Such electronic records that merit permanent retention, including archival records, should be maintained electronically, remain permanently available to be transferred to the Daemen University Repository.

All university faculty, staff and students entrusted with electronic records must adhere to these practices:

  • Keep data secure against unauthorized creation, updating, processing, outputting and distribution;
  • Appropriately secure data and keep it inaccessible to non-approved users when not in use;
  • Use, retain, and dispose of data consistent with this policy; and
  • When creating reports from databases, maintain the same level of confidentiality in the report as exists for protection of the original data.

Vital electronic records are files critical to the efficient and effective performance of jobs and functioning of the university. Faculty and staff are responsible for their own backup storage of their vital electronic records. This responsibility includes working with the Office of Information Technology to use an approved backup method for storing electronic records, monitoring periodically to ensure backups are working effectively and alerting the Office of Information Technology otherwise, and knowing the process of how to recover vital electronic records from their approved means of backup storage.

At the time of disposal, any electronic record containing private or confidential data should be erased properly. Consultation with the Office of Information Technology on how to properly erase hard drives is vital before computers are transferred to other users or discarded.

Electronic mail (Email) that contains information that should be retained according to the Retention Schedule should be treated like any other electronic record. Each email user is responsible for identifying which emails are vital electronic records and are responsible for saving the electronic record outside of the email platform. The vital electronic records embedded in faculty or staff email accounts are not considered to be in permanent storage, and the email platform should not be used for permanent or long-term storage purposes.

Daemen University will back up all electronic records stored on Daemen University servers.  This backup policy is a safeguard to retrieve lost information and restore administrative functioning of the university in the event of disaster or emergency. The Office of Information Technology is responsible for ensuring backups exist for all Daemen University production servers that are no more than 60 days old. The backup copies of electronic records stored on Daemen University servers will be stored in both onsite and offsite locations. These backups are considered a safeguard for the record retention system of Daemen University, but these backups are not considered the official repository of Daemen University electronic records.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Documents:
Requests for formal hearingsPermanent
Requests and disclosures of personally identifiable informationPermanent
Student requests for nondisclosure of directory informationPermanent
Student statements on content of records regarding hearing panel decisionsPermanent
Student’s written consent for records disclosurePermanent
Waiver for rights of accessPermanent
Written decisions of hearing panelsPermanent
Grant Records:
Original grant proposal7 years after completion of grant period
Grant agreement and subsequent modifications, if applicable7 years after completion of grant period
All requested IRS/grantee correspondence including determination letters and “no change” in exempt status letter7 years after completion of grant period
Final grantee reports, both financial and narrative7 years after completion of grant period
All evidence of returned grant funds7 years after completion of grant period
All pertinent formal correspondence including opinion letters of counsel7 years after completion of grant period
Report assessment forms7 years after completion of grant period
Documentation relation to grantee evidence of invoiced and matching or challenge grants that would support grantee compliance with the grant agreement7 years after completion of grant period
Pre-grant inquiry forms and other documentation for expenditure responsibility grants7 years after completion of grant period
Grantee work product produced with the grant funds7 years after completion of grant period
Institutional Publications, Statistical Data/Documents, and Institutional Reports:
Degree statistics, enrollment statistics, grade statistics and race/ethnicity statisticsPermanent
Schedule of classes and class lists (institutional)Permanent
Institutional publications (catalogs, handbooks, programs, etc.)Permanent
Advertising materials, other than catalogues5 years after compilation
Class standing reportsPermanent
Commencement programsPermanent
Tuition fees and schedulesPermanent
IPEDS/NYSED reports7 years
Insurance Records:
Annual loss summaries10 years
Audits and adjustments3 years after final adjustment
Certificates issued to Daemen UniversityPermanent
Claims files (including correspondence, medical records, injury documentation, etc.)Permanent
Group insurance plans – active employeesuntil plan is amended or terminated
Group insurance plans – retireesPermanent or until 6 years after death of last eligible participant
Inspections3 years
Insurance policies (current and expired)Permanent
Journal entry support data7 years
Loss runs10 years
Releases and settlements25 years
Legal Files and Papers:
Legal memoranda and opinions (including all subject matter files7 years after close of matter
Litigation files1 year after expiration of appeals or time for filing appeals
Court ordersPermanent
Requests for departure from Records Retention Plan10 years
Health center services patient records10 years
Counseling client records10 years
Consultant’s report2 years
Material of historical value (including pictures, publications)Permanent
Policy and procedures manuals – originalCurrent version with revision history
Policy and procedures manuals – copiesRetain current version only
Annual reportsPermanent
Patents and Trademarks:
Invention assignment formsPermanent
Licensing agreements7 years
Original patents, trademarks and related work papersPermanent
Royalty recordsLife of patent or TM plus 7 years
Payroll Documents:
Employee deduction authorizations4 years after termination
Payroll deductionsTermination + 7 years
W-2 and W-4 formsTermination + 7 years
Garnishments, assignments, attachmentsTermination + 7 years
Payroll registers (gross and net)7 years
Time cards/sheets2 years
Unclaimed wage records6 years
Pension Documents and Supporting Employee Data:
General Principal: Pension documents and supporting employee data shall be kept in such a manner that Daemen University can establish at all times whether or not any pension is payable to any person and if so, the amount of such pension
Retirement and pension recordsPermanent
Personnel Records:
EEO-I/EEO-2 = Employer Information ReportsPermanent
Employee earnings recordsSeparation + 7 years
Employee handbooks1 copy kept permanently
Employee medical recordsSeparation + 6 years
Employee personnel records (including individual attendance records, application forms, job or status change records, performance evaluation, termination papers, withholding information, garnishments, test results, training and qualification records6 years after separation
Employee contracts – individual7 years after separation
Employment records – correspondence with employment agencies and advertisements for job openings3 years from date of hiring decision
Employment records – all non-hired applicants (including all applications and resumes – whether solicited or unsolicited, results of post-offer, pre-employment physicals, results of background investigations, if any, related correspondence)2-4 years (4 years if file contains any correspondence which might be construed as an offer)
Job descriptions3 years after superseded
Forms I-93 years after separation
Property Records:
Correspondence, property deeds, assessments, licenses, rights of wayPermanent
Original purchase/sale/lease agreementPermanent
Property insurance policiesPermanent
Public Safety:
Accident report4 years after report date or until claimant reaches age of 22
Crime reports4 years after report date
Property damage reports4 years after report date
Registration and Academic Student Records:
Academic advisement files3 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Change of grade formsPermanent
Course change records2 years after date submitted
Credit/no credit approvals (audit, pass/fail, etc.)2 years after submitted
Certification of graduation7 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Credit by examination reports/scores (AP, CLEP, etc.)7 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Curriculum  change authorization (change/declaration of program, major, minor)7 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Degree audit records7 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Disciplinary records7 years after date of final obligation, permanent if expelled
Academic disciplinary records7 years after date of final obligation, permanent if expelled
Divisional transfer requests7 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Enrollment verification2 years from enrollment date
Final grade rostersPermanent
Graduation listsPermanent
Hold or encumbrance authorizationsUntil release
Name change7 years after graduation/date of enrollment
Student Class Schedules2 years from graduation/date of last attendance
Student registration forms2 years from registration
Transcript requests2 years after date submitted
Transfer credit request/report7 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Veteran Administration certifications7 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Withdrawal authorization/leave of absence authorization7 years after graduation/date of last attendance
Tax Records:
General Principle: Daemen University must keep books of account or records as are sufficient to establish amount of gross income, deductions, credits or other matters required to be shown in any such return.  These documents and records shall be kept for as long as the contents thereof may become material in the administration of federal, state and local income, franchise and property tax laws.
Tax-exemption documents and related correspondencePermanent
IRS rulingsPermanent
Excise tax records7 years
Payroll tax records7 years
Tax bills, receipts, statements7 years
Tax returns-income, franchise, propertyPermanent
Tax workpaper packages-originals7 years
Sales/use tax records7 years
Annual information returns-federal and statePermanent
IRS or other Government Audit RecordsPermanent
Filing of fees paid to professionals (IRS Form 1099)7 years
Software licenses and support agreements7 years after all obligations end
Updated on March 27, 2023

Related Articles