Section I. Purpose
This executive order provides for the implementation of the California State University (CSU) Systemwide Records/Information Retention Schedules. It is issued under the authority of Section II of the Standing Orders of the Board of Trustees, related policies adopted by the Board of Trustees, and Education Code section 89043. The objective of this executive order is to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements while implementing appropriate operational best practices.
Section II. Definitions
Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery: Documented plans and procedures to allow a campus to provide and/or recover services during and after a disaster or other disruption.
Custodian: The title of the campus-designated department head 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 retention, destruction, or transfer decisions that are documented in the records/information 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.
Record/Information: Every means of recording upon any tangible thing in any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, any combination of these or other means to engage in business, regardless of media.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- 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;
- Physical paper in files, such as memos, contracts, reports, photographs and architectural drawings;
- Licenses, certificates, registration, identification cards, or other means;
- Handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostatting, photographing, photocopying, transmitting by electronic mail or facsimile;
- Any record thereby created, regardless of the manner or media in which the record has been stored and/or created; and
- Backups of electronic information.
Retention Authority: The statute, code or good business practice that governs the length of time a particular record/information shall/should be kept.
Retention Period: The period of time that a record/information shall/should be kept. This period may be divided into:
- Active Retention Period – This is the length of time the records or information are to remain available for immediate retrieval to meet operational needs.
- Inactive Retention Period – This is the length of time the records or information are to be retained to meet the long-term needs of the campus/CSU.
Schedule: A document identifying a series of unique records/information associated with a university process or function. For each record/information listed, the schedule will include a unique number/identifier, title, custodian, value, retention authority, and retention period. The basic schedules are to be modified by each campus as needed, e.g., to specify custodians, update record/information value according to campus needs, and incorporate additional records.
Series: A group of related records filed/used together and evaluated as a unit for retention purposes.
Value: Records and information may have value in one or more of the following areas:
- Operational: Required by a campus/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.
Section III. Policy Implementation
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. 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. The retention and disposition of records/information are to conform to standards set forth within retention and disposition schedules issued in conjunction with this executive order. Each series or schedule will be periodically reviewed and updates will be posted to the CSU website. 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.
The Office of the Chancellor will identify subject matter experts, who can answer questions related to the retention and disposition schedule for each record/information series.
Section IV. Campus Responsibility
Each campus president is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate campus department(s) implements the records/information retention and disposition schedules for that department.
Each campus must:
- Formally designate an official campus custodian(s) for each type of record who will be responsible for:
- Assuring that the campus is operating in compliance with the California State University records/information retention and disposition schedules, and;
- Identifying records/information that may have historic or vital value for the campus.
- Ensure that the designation of a vital record/information is consistent with the campus’ business continuity plans (per Executive Order 921 http://www.calstate.edu/EO/EO-921.html).
- Establish procedures regarding the modification of retention and disposition schedules, as needed, to incorporate records unique to each campus. These schedules must be published by the campus and copies are to be provided to the Office of the Chancellor, upon request.
- Continue to secure its records/information in accordance with applicable campus and CSU policy.
- Ensure appropriate and timely disposal of records/information in accordance with retention and disposition schedule timeframes. The campus is responsible for instituting a process for reviewing its records/information as listed on the schedules to determine if they should be destroyed or maintained. At minimum, this review should be conducted once a year.
Current schedules can be found at the Records/Information Retention and Disposition website www.calstate.edu/recordsretention/.