About the UC Records Retention Schedule

Knowing what records to keep and for how long is challenging. A records retention schedule defines the period of time that records should be retained and when they should be destroyed. Various requirements based in law and university policy govern the retention of administrative records. A retention schedule is critical for promoting responsible records management, mitigating risk, and ensuring consistent compliance across UC. The University Records Management Committee (RMC) is charged with developing and maintaining the universitywide records retention schedule. To gain an understanding on how to use the schedule, review this webinar. Questions regarding the schedule should be directed to the appropriate campus records management coordinator.

It is important for all members of the University community to adhere to the retention periods in the schedule (except in the cases of a records hold). The schedule serves as the lawful authorization for the disposition of records; consequences of not following the schedule may include court-imposed legal sanctions.

Schedule update project
The RMC currently is conducting a systemwide project to update the records retention schedule. See Schedule Update Project for more information.

Records included in the schedule
Per University policy, RMP-1, “University Records Management Program,” and except as superseded by federal laws and regulations, and university contracts, the retention schedule applies to all administrative records, regardless of their medium, owned by the

  • University of California campuses and the Office of the President,
  • University of California health sciences centers, and
  • Department of Energy laboratories managed by the University of California.

The schedule does not apply to

  • Administrative records held by the Principal Officers of The Regents,
  • Teaching and research records (e.g., library materials, faculty research and teaching materials, student examinations), or
  • Records pertaining to individual patient care (medical records).

Records holds
If pending, foreseeable, or ongoing litigation; an investigation; or an ongoing audit pertaining to the records is taking place, the records cannot be destroyed until these actions have been completed or resolved. For information about records holds, contact your campus records management coordinator.

Appreciation goes to the University of Denver, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and Harvard University for their free, open-source, web-based software tool, which UC enhanced to use for managing, and distributing the UC records retention schedule.  See Records Authority project page and Records Authority code archive for more information.