Destruction or Transfer of University Records

Each unit should plan for orderly destruction or archival transfer of noncurrent records within the definitions specified by the General Rules.

A records retention program is the key to the efficient management of non-current information and the effective use of filing equipment and data storage space and the office and storage space they occupy. Each university office is requested to include in its normal operating procedures a plan for the orderly destruction or archival transfer of non-current records. The creation and maintenance of records of high quality and small quantity will result in lower office operating costs due to reduction in staff time, space and equipment allocated to records work.

Article VI, Section 4 of The General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure contains four provisions:

  1. Definition of University Records. Records produced or received by any agency or employee of the University in the transaction of University business become University property. For the purpose of this paragraph, records shall be defined as including all documents, correspondence, accounts, files, manuscripts, publications, photographs, tapes, drawings, or other material bearing upon the activities and functions of the University or its officers and employees.
  2. Records Destruction. No University records shall be discarded or destroyed except upon the prior approval of the Archivist pursuant to a finding and recommendation by the administrative unit involved that such records have no further administrative value.
  3. Approvals Required. The Archivist shall withhold the approval of any such action until satisfied that the records involved have no value for other administrative offices and that they need not be retained for legal reasons, as determined by appropriate officers. Pursuant to the State Records Act, Section 43.4 et seq., Chapter 116 of the Illinois Revised Statutes, the university archivist shall forward approved requests for permission to discard or destroy records to the university president and the State Records Commission for their approval.

If you need assistance in inventorying noncurrent records or wish to prepare a Records Disposal Authorization request, please contact the University Archives, 19 Library, 333-0798. The Archives has records inventory worksheets and a model departmental records disposal schedule that may be useful in determining the administrative, financial, legal and research value of records kept in filing cabinets, transfer files and magnetic data storage units.