Sac State University Policy Manual

Records Storage and Management

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Administration
Authority: PM 99-05
Effective Date: June 23, 1999
Index Cross-References: Storage of Records
Policy File Number: UMR15050.htm


University records include information in any form that has been created or received by the California State University, Sacramento. Records may come in many forms, including:  correspondence, reports, studies, data, maps, drawings, photographs, email, audio and visual recordings, administrative logs or other documents whether on paper, computer (magnetic tape or disk), film or other media.  Records may be categorized by type, such as payroll, personnel, timesheets, travel, student, purchasing, etc.

University records are public records and must have a predetermined retention period.  They can be destroyed, transferred to the State Records Center, or transferred to the University Archives only in accordance with the predetermined period.

Records management practices should facilitate adherence with all state and federal laws related to privacy, confidentiality, and production of records: e.g. California Public Records Act, California Information Practices Act, and Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA).


A. Mandatory Retention Periods

1. The University is bound by legally mandated retention periods for a variety of documents.  The Official schedule to be used for this purpose is the CSU Records Disposition Schedule.

2. Program Center administrators are responsible for determining which of the records from their units fall under these mandated requirements.  Administrators are to produce a summary document, which is to be updated annually, by August 1, of each year listing the record types in their area that are covered and stating the mandated retention periods.  Copies of these lists are to be given to University Counsel and University Archives each year.

B. Discretionary Retention Periods

1. Each Program Center administrator is responsible for reviewing all record types created within the Program Center and establishing a listing of retention periods for every document type not covered by a mandatory period.  These lists are to be reviewed by the Program Center Administrator, annually, by August 1 each year.  By this date each year, a letter is to be given to University Counsel and University Archives indicating whether or not there are changes to the Program Center list.

2. In determining appropriate retention periods, Program Center administrators should consider the following:

    a. Some materials are considered to have no administrative, legal, fiscal or archival
        requirements for their retention. These may be disposed of as soon as they have served
        their reference purpose. See examples in Attachment A.

    b. Materials may have immediate historical/archival value and should be transferred to
        Archives as soon as frequent access to them is not needed by the Program Center.
        Documents may be transferred to Archives even if they need to be sealed for a specific
        period. See examples of major collection categories in Attachment B.


A. Short term

1. Short term storage is for records that are active, are accessed on a regular basis, and need to be retrieved quickly.  These records are usually stored at the worksite.

2. Some inactive records (no longer accessed on a regular basis) may be maintained in appropriate on-campus space, such as a storage room, as determined by each Program Center Administrator.   Consideration should be given to space limitations and the physical safety of the records and buildings.

3. University Archives are not to be used for short-term storage.

B. Long term

1. Records that have become inactive, and have been determined not to have archival or historical value, but that have not reached the end of their retention period, should be sent to the State Records Center for the remainder of their retention period.

2. Procedures for preparation of documents for the State Records Center are available from the University Records Management Coordinator.

C. Permanent

1. Records that are determined not to have historical or archival value and are mandated for permanent retention should be sent to the State Records Center for storage as soon as they are not needed in proximity to the work site.  (See Archiving, below.)

2. University Archives is the site for permanent storage of records
that have archival value.


A. Review of Documents

1. Once records have reached the end of their mandatory or discretionary retention period, they are ready for disposition. Disposition does not always mean "destruction."  It may include continuing or permanent retention, destruction, or archiving.

2. Program Center Administrators shall determine the disposition of all record types.  They  will review for any continuing administrative or historical value for document types and/or individual documents. If documents are retained for continuing administrative value, the Program Center administrator has an ongoing responsibility for determining disposition at a subsequent date.

3. Confidential and private records must be protected from unauthorized access at all times.

4. Records pertaining to ongoing or pending audits, or judicial or public disclosure proceedings must not be destroyed until the issue is resolved.

B. Destruction

1. Documents without continuing value should be destroyed at the end of their official retention period.

2. Documents may be destroyed by the office where they are kept, but care should be taken with confidential or sensitive information.  The University provides separate pick-up and destruction of those materials. 

3. Documents previously transferred to the State Records Center will be destroyed according to transfer instructions.  There is an opportunity for final review of the documents before destruction.

C. Archiving

1. Documents determined to have continuing historical value may be placed in archives at any time.  No other categories of documents are to be placed in archives.  See examples of major collection categories in Attachment B.

2. When appropriate for administrative or historical purposes, the Program Center may choose to develop and create summaries of data contained in documents before the original documents are destroyed.

3. The University Archives is responsible for weeding out material that may be duplicative or that is not considered to have historical value.

4. Procedures for preparation of documents for archiving are available from University Archives.


A. Responsibility for communicating policy and procedure regarding records management to all appropriate staff is that of the Program Center Administrator.  Training will be conducted by Central Administration every three years.  Additional training for new employees or those who have changed positions, etc. is to be provided by the Program Center.  Enforcement of all matters regarding records management for each program center is the responsibility of the Program Center Administrator.

B. Individuals leaving administrative positions are to make every attempt to separate their own personal files from University records. Persons assuming new administrative positions are to review records newly under their control for appropriate compliance with these policies. 



1) Duplicates: Extra copies of correspondence, completed forms, bulletins, statistics, reports, hardcopy printouts from a database, electronic files extracted from a master file or database, mailing lists, etc., used only for reference or informational distribution.

2) 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.

3) Preliminary Drafts: Drafts of memos, letters, worksheets, etc. that represent stylistic, spelling or grammatical changes.

4) Published Reference Materials: Printed materials received from other CSUS offices, vendors or other non-CSUS 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 University office.

NOTE: Transfer one copy of all CSUS publications to Archives at time of distribution.

5) 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 CSUS publications should be sent to Archives.