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Storage and Disposal of University Records

About this Policy

Storage and Disposal of University Records

Policy Number: 23002

Effective Date:
Dec 12, 2017

Last Updated:

Responsible Office:
Records Management

Responsible Administrator:
Assistant Vice President Management Services

Policy Contact:

UM Business Services


  • Finance

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This policy applies to all employees and to all records that are made or received in the transaction of University business and the proper storage and disposal of such property.

Reason for Policy

The purpose of this policy is to inform University employees and department management of the requirements and responsibilities for storing and disposing of records.

Policy Statement

Storage of Records
Maintaining trustworthy records is essential for the University to meet its legal and business needs and responsibilities to the public.  As such, the University has a Records Center, located in Columbia, to provide storage for University records and permanent storage for the University Archives and Western Historical Manuscripts (all campuses).  All Inactive Records of value from all campuses will be stored in the Records Center unless otherwise authorized by Records Management.

Control of records stored in the Records Center remains with the department of origin.  With the exception of auditors, records stored at the Records Center will not be released or referenced by the Records Center without express written permission to do so by the department of origin.  Departments may access its records by request to the Records Center.

Disposal of Records
Records stored in the Records Center will not be destroyed without prior notice to the department of origin.  Disposal of all records stored in the Records Center or Confidential or Sensitive records may be destroyed by any method, which makes record recognition impossible.

Note:  Records, which are not of a Confidential or Sensitive nature, may be disposed of by means of regularly established departmental practices for handling recyclable or waste paper.

Disposal of Confidential or Sensitive Records
All University records approved for disposal in accordance with the Records Retention Guide, which are of a confidential or sensitive nature, may be disposed of by any method of destruction making record recognition impossible.

Transfer to University Archives
Records scheduled for transfer to Campus Archives are transferred in accordance with instructions from the Office of the Campus Archivist.


Inactive Records - Records referred to an average of once per month or less.

Records Retention - the prescribed period of time that a Record must be retained.  The retention periods established for University Records are based on the legal, administrative, financial, research, and historical needs of the University.

Disposition or Disposal of Records - the disposal of the actual Record, by either physical destruction or transfer to Campus Archives.

Confidential or Sensitive - Determination of what constitutes confidential or sensitive records is the responsibility of the department.  Student academic records, health, payroll and personnel files are the more obvious confidential records.


Records Management:

  • Arrange for the orderly transfer of Inactive Records to the University Records Center
  • Develop filing systems that will assure efficient usage and prompt retrieval of Records.
  • Provide assistance to all University departments in matters relating to storage and disposal of Records


  • Sending Inactive Records to the Records Center for storage
  • Determining what constitutes a Confidential or Sensitive record for the department

Additional Details


Records Management Forms:

Related Information

See the Records Management website:


This policy combines the following former policies:

  • Business Policy Manual 904 – Storage of Inactive Records (revised July 15, 2009)
  • Business Policy Manual 905 – Disposal of University Records (revised July 15, 2009).


Records Center Users Guide:

Reviewed 2019-01-29