Records Retention

When records are no longer used regularly by the offices that created them, the records are considered “inactive.” Many inactive records have long-term value to Tufts, and need to be retained for legal or historical purposes. The Records Retention Schedule lists records found throughout the University, tells us how long to keep them, and what to do with them when the retention period expires - either transfer records to the Archives or destroy them. It applies to both paper and electronic records: content, not format, determines record retention.

The Records Retention Schedule may be supplemented by records policies. These are created when an office, department, or program has a specific function and creates unique records not covered by the Schedule. For questions about using the Schedule, or creating a supplemental records policy, please contact the Archives.

Warning

Do not follow the records retention schedule to destroy records that are currently part of–or you are aware that they are going to be part of–any legal action or proceeding, litigation, audit, investigation, or review. For more information, see the Subpoenas for University Records Policy.

Records Schedule Organization

The records schedules are organized into ten functions, listed in the table below. Each function defines the retention policy for approximately 5 to 15 individual record types.

Schedule Number Category Description
000 Financial Records

Investment, budget, and accounting records.

100 Employment Records

Staff personnel records, job search, and payroll records.

200 Faculty Records

Faculty personnel records. These include tenure and promotion records. They do not cover the teaching, research, professional, or personal files of the faculty.

300 Research Records

Funded and unfunded grant records and grant and contract accounting records.

400 Student Records

Graduate and undergraduate matriculated and non-matriculated student records.

500 Academic Records

Records that document teaching and learning, such as course schedules and descriptions, syllabi, reading lists, and courseware objects.

600 Advancement Records

Gift and estate records.

700 Operations Records

Records concerning building and grounds construction and maintenance.

800 Legal Records

Contracts

900 General Administrative Records

Records defined by document type, such as reports, publications, and meeting minutes.