Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the CSU establish a systemwide standard for records/information retention and disposition?

Universities across the country have long-standing and sophisticated records management programs, including retention/disposition schedules. In fact, several CSU campuses had these programs in place. So, to bring the CSU up-to-date with other academic institutions, a systemwide standard was established.

Additionally, the CSU’s ability to respond appropriately and successfully to information requests, attorney needs, or mandates was hindered by the lack of a systemwide standard.

Finally, a systemwide solution allows information technology staffs at the campuses and at the Chancellor’s Office to quantify and manage electronic storage space.

What is a custodian?

A “custodian” is 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.

How do we determine the “value” of a record?

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

  1. Operational: Required by a campus/department to perform its primary function
  2. Legal: Required to be kept by law or may be needed litigation or a government investigation.
  3. Fiscal: Related to the financial transactions of the campus, especially those required for audit or tax purposes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
What is the document retention/disposition policy for electronic mail (email)?

Email is NOT, in and of itself, a record series for which a schedule is required. Individual emails may contain content which raises them to the level of official.​

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