Records Management Overview

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About Record and Information Retention Policy

California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor Executive Order No. 1031 requires the development of a Records/Information Retention Program that complies with legal and regulatory requirements and implements operational best practices. The purpose of the CSU Systemwide Records/Information Retention and Disposition executive order is to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness while at the same time ensure that legal and regulatory requirements associated with the retention and disposition of CSU records/information are met.

As set forth in the California State University, Stanislaus Records/Information Retention Policy the University has a Records/Information Retention Program that complies with legal and regulatory requirements and implements operational best practices according to the CSU Systemwide Records/Information Retention and Disposition executive order(s).  The University is required to comply with the Chancellor's Office Record Retention Schedule.

The University President is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate campus department(s) implement(s) the records/information retention and disposition schedules for that department. The program established by the policy applies to any Stanislaus State department, any Stanislaus State auxiliary organization, and Stanislaus State contracts or grants (research & sponsored programs), except as may be superseded by state or federal laws and regulations. This program does not apply to Non-Records as defined below or medical records subject to Executive Order 943.  University records are the property of the University, and not of the administrators, faculty, or staff who create them or to whom they are entrusted.


Auxiliary Organizations: Any non-profit entity which (1) has agreed to comply with applicable requirements of the CSU Board of Trustees and campus; (2) is included in the list of officially recognized auxiliary organization in good standing maintained by the Chancellor; and (3) maintains the status of an auxiliary organization in good standing.

Custodian: The title of the campus department-designated individual who maintains the official/original copy of the record/information. Retention schedules should specifically identify the campus designated custodian responsible for identified records/information.

Disposition: A range of processes associated with implementing records/information destruction or transfer decisions that are documented in the records retention and disposition schedule or other authority.

Media: A general term referring to the material onto which business information has been recorded and may subsequently be used for business purposes.

Non-records: The items found on the following list are not considered University records.

  • Extra copies of documents kept only for convenience or reference
  • Blank forms kept for supply purposes
  • Personal or private papers neither created nor received in connection with University business
  • Reference materials
  • Preliminary drafts

Records/Information:  Every means of recording upon any tangible thing in any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, any combinations of these or other means to engage in business, regardless of media.
This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Physical paper in files, such as memos, contracts, reports, photographs and architectural drawings;
  • Electronic communication such as e-mail content and attachments, voicemail, instant messages, and data on a contactless integrated circuit;
  • Content on Web sites, PDAs, mobile devices, desktops, and servers;
  • Information/data captured in various databases;
  • Licenses, certificates, registration, identification cards, or other means;
  • Any record, regardless of how it was created, or media in which the record has been stored and/or created, and backups of electronic information.

Records Retention Officer is the official steward of University records delegated by the Vice President of Business & Finance.

Retention Authority: The statute, code or good business practice that governs the length of time a particular record/information shall/should be kept.

Retention Schedule: A document identifying the period of time records/information associated with a university process or function must be retained. The schedule will include a unique number/identifier, title, custodian, value, retention authority, and retention period.

Series: A group of related records filed/used together and evaluated as a unit for retention purposes (e.g., personnel/payroll, fiscal, environmental health & safety, student records, facilities, university police, facilities, university advancement, curriculum & accreditation, research & sponsored programs, institutional records, etc.). The Series that are required to be part of the Records/Information Retention Program are identified and named by the CSU Chancellor's Office.

University Archive: The University Archive is the repository within the University library of the historical records of the University.

Value: Records and Information may have value in one or more of the following areas:

  • Operational- required by a campus and/or department to perform its primary function.
  • Legal-required to be kept by law or may be needed for litigation or a government investigation.
  • Fiscal-related to the financial transactions of the campus, especially those required for audit or tax purposes.
  • Historical-of long-term value to document past events. This may arise from exceptional age and/or connection with some significant historical event or person associated with the CSU.
  • Vital-critical to maintain to ensure operational continuity for the CSU after a disruption or disaster. Vital records or information may fall into any one of the above value categories.

About Stanislaus State Record Management

Presidential Delegation

The President delegates responsibility for implementation of a Stanislaus State Records/Information Retention program as follows:

  1. Each Vice President is to ensure compliance with this policy in their respective organizations;
  2. The Associate Vice President for Information Technology is responsible for compliance with this policy as it pertains to electronic communication and information stored digitally; See Records/Information Retention Program Guidelines for operational details.
  3. The Vice President of Business & Finance is to identify a Records Retention Officer and establish the practices to implement and sustain the Stanislaus State Records/Information Retention program.

Records/Information Retention Program Structure

Record/Information Retention Officer

The official steward of University records; has the responsibility and authority for general oversight of the Records/Information Retention Program. The Record/Information Retention Officer will interpret, update, and maintain record retention and disposition schedules and ensure that these requirements are conveyed to the Department Records Custodians and the staff responsible for the centralized record retention repository. The Record/Information Retention Officer will be responsible for training and communicating with Custodians to ensure that the Records/Information Retention Program is being followed. The Record/Information Retention Officer will prepare and maintain Records/Information Retention reports as required to verify compliance. See Records/Information Retention Program Guidelines for operational details. The Record/Information Retention Officer will communicate deficiencies that cause significant risk to the University or related entities and suggest modifications to related guidelines, policy, or procedures to the Vice President of Business & Finance or his designee.

Records/Information Custodian

Campus Departments must comply with the records/information retention and disposition schedules for that area (e.g., personnel/payroll, fiscal, environmental health & safety, student records, facilities, university police, facilities, university advancement, curriculum & accreditation, research & sponsored programs, institutional records, etc.). Departments will designate an official campus custodian(s) for each type of record. Records/Information Custodians are responsible for controlling the administration of records/information in all media forms and for valuing such records/information in accordance with retention authority requirements. See Records/Information Retention Program Guidelines for operational details.


All Stanislaus State employees who handle University records/information are responsible for complying with the Records/Information Retention policy.

University Archivist

The Library Dean will designate an official Archivist. The Archivist shall conduct periodic inspection to ensure proper storage and retention and will provide archive information to the Records/Information Retention Officer as requested.

Records/Information Schedule

The retention and disposition of records/information are to conform to standards set forth within retention and disposition schedules issued by Executive Order 1031 as reported by the CSU Chancellor's Office. These schedules are not to be abridged or altered except to add specific guidance regarding the retention and disposition of unique, campus-specific records/information.

About Records Retention Officer

The Record Retention officer is the official steward of University records delegated by the Vice President of Business & Finance.

About Record Retention Database

The Record Retention Database is maintained by the Record Retention Officer of all records stored in Centralized Storage (archives). The database is searchable to identify document retrieval requests.

About Record Custodian

Each University department is required to identify a Record Custodian; the individual who maintains the department information pertaining to centralized record storage and departmental record storage. The Department Records Custodian is the functional individual responsible for serving as a liaison to the Records Retention Officer on all record retention matters. The Custodian must be a permanent employee, be knowledgeable of the work and responsibilities of their department, and be authorized to work with the records in their area.  The Custodian's responsibilities are:

  • Be responsible for records stored within their Department and in Centralized Storage.
  • Understand and follow the procedures and requirements for the storage of records including security, access, removal, organization, transfer, review, and disposition.
  • Advise department staff of appropriate retention periods for each records type within the Schedule Series he/she is responsible for.
  • Provide appropriate training to those individuals who may have access to records, including confidential records.
  • Answer questions about office records in their functional area.
  • Comply with litigation holds and legal and public record requests.
  • Plan for protection of vital records and recovery in event of emergency.
  • Ensure that permanent records are stored in a facility with proper environment and are periodically reviewed for quality and readability.
  • Understand and follow procedures that ensure confidential records have security controls.
  • Develop plans and procedures to preserve vital records in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
  • Identify the risk (external and internal) department records may be vulnerable to and determine what level of impact the risk will have and determine appropriate protection methods.
  • Prepare reports and respond to requests for information from the Records Retention Officer regarding records stored in the department and/or in centralized record retention storage.

About Records Transfer Form

The Records Transfer Form is used by the Record Custodian to list the description of records contained within the box that it to be store in Centralized Storage. The Records Retention Officer uses this information to code the box and documents within to the Record Retention Database.

About Centralized Storage Setup for Paper Records

All requests for centralized storage will be coordinated through the Records Retention Officer. Record storage will conform to the system and location for centralized storage of archived non-electronic records that meets retention schedules, allows for record retrieval, and manages record disposition.  Departments wishing to transfer records off-site must consult with the Records Retention Officer. The procedure for transferring records to on-site centralized storage is:

  • Department Record Custodian completes the Records Transfer Form and a attaches it to the file storage box.
  • Department Record Custodian contacts the Record Management Office to schedule the pick-up of the storage box(es).  Records must be transferred in a storage box-type approved by the Records Retention Officer.
  • Record Retention Management staff will pick up the records box from the department.
  • Record Retention Officer or designee will enter the appropriate information into the Record Retention Database.

About Centralized Storage Paper Record Access

Departments t may access records in Centralized Storage by coordinating the request with the Records Retention Officer or designee.  Centralized records shall be released only to authorized persons with proper identification.  For security reasons, no centralized records will be sent through inter-office mail.  Department Records Custodians are responsible for records checked out from centralized storage, for signing a document access form, and for returning checked-out documents.

About Enterprise Content Management (ECM) System

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is responsible for the maintenance, operation and security of the university's Enterprise Content Management System (Digital Record Storage). Digital record storage must conform to the standards set forth within the CSU Chancellor's Executive Order 1031 and the Stanislaus State Records/Information Retention Policy. Digital record storage (ECM) is managed by the Stanislaus State Office of Information Technology.

About Record Disposal


The campus shall adhere to the disposition instructions set forth in the CSU Records Disposition Schedules. The Schedules apply to the authoritative copy of the record controlled by the Record Retention Officer and Custodians, not to non-record extra copies that may be created for informational purposes or convenience.


The Records Retention Officer or designee is responsible for notifying Department Custodians to review data records for paper records in centralized storage, if any, as listed on the schedules and approve the disposition date.  At minimum, this review should be conducted once a year.  Department Custodians who choose to store their records within their office shall develop departmental record disposal procedures in conjunction with the Records Retention Officer.


Methods of disposal must take into account the category of records whose contents require destruction, rather than simple disposal.  Destruction must prevent unauthorized access to any records designated confidential and personal, and be destroyed so that they cannot be practicably read or reconstructed (i.e. shredding.  For shredding service contact the Record Management Office 2667-3500, or complete the Shredding Request Form


Disposition will occur following the end of the retention period at a time operationally practical for the campus.  Records not disposed of timely can still subject the record to possible requests under statute or legal proceeding.  Records that have been placed on litigation hold, requested under legal proceeding or public information act, or pertaining to on-going or pending audits, must not be disposed of.  Disposal must also be deferred if federal laws or regulations and university grant or contracts guidelines override the university retention periods.