[Minor revision–posted 6/17/15 (replaces 6/27/12 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 10.10: Records Retention
DATE: June 17, 2015
PURPOSE: This Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) defines the steps involved in the legal destruction of records that have ceased to have sufficient value to warrant retention.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed by the university archivist of Texas Tech University in May every four years with substantive revisions forwarded through the senior vice provost to the provost/senior vice president.
1. Yearly, an appointed individual in each department should review records on hand to determine whether departmental documents should be retained or destroyed.
2. The department shall comply with the Texas Tech University Records Retention Schedule (see attachment) prepared by the Texas Tech University System and approved by the State and Local Records Management Division of the Texas State Library. The retention times apply to the master copy, as provided in Chapter 441, Texas Government Code. These include paper, micro-media, electronic records, or other material that is involved in the transaction of official state business. The convenience copy should not be kept any longer than necessary.
3. Master copy refers to the one original or "master" version of a document. Convenience copy refers to all duplicate copies of a document. Convenience copies can be disposed of at any time and should not be kept longer than the record copy's retention time.
4. The retention time of a record applies regardless of the record's format, be it electronic, micro-media, or paper.
5. Master copies of records de-accessioned, disposed of, or destroyed shall be listed on a records disposition log. The department should retain a copy of this disposition log for the appropriate time as listed on the university's records retention schedule. Currently, this is 10 years.
6. Once a record's retention time has expired and it is no longer needed, the record should be disposed of in the appropriate manner. Records with no personal or confidential information can be recycled or thrown away. Records containing personal or confidential information, such as social security numbers and grades, should be shredded.
7. The assigned individual responsible for destroying the records should observe the destruction process to completion.
8. Records listed on the university's records retention schedule as "archival" have potential historical value and should be transferred to the University Archives for review. The university archivist will make the final decision on whether to keep or dispose of the record.
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