Records Retention

Pursuant to University Policy 3342-5-15, the Office of General Counsel has created this site to assist faculty, staff and University departments in managing University records for which they are responsible.

Overview of Kent State University Record Retention

As a public institution in the State of Ohio, Kent State University is required to comply with Ohio Public Records law, which requires the university to establish and administer a program to manage the creation, utilization, maintenance, retention, preservation, and disposition of our institution's records.

Kent State University has adopted the Inter-University Council Record Retention Manual as its guideline for developing University policies and procedures concerning records retention.

For more information regarding record retention, contact the office of General Counsel at:

Phone: 330-672-2982
Fax: 330-672-7821


The Department of Special Collections and Archives acquires, preserves, and provides access to primary sources and rare materials that support the teaching and research programs of Kent State University.  The University Archivist plays an important role in the University's records retention program.

Phone: 330-672-2270
Fax: 330-672-9318


What is a University Record?

The Ohio Revised Code Section 149.011(G) and University Policy 5-15.1(B)(1) describe a record as follows:

  • any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic;

  • created or received by, or coming under the jurisdiction of, any public office of the state or its political subdivisions;

  • which serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office.

A non-record is any document, device, or item that does not meet the definition above.  Non-records may be destroyed at any time.  The following are unlikely to be considered records:

  • personal correspondence
  • non-university publications
  • Listserv® materials
  • junk mail/spam
  • catalogs
  • journals, books, other library materials
  • faculty papers (Faculty papers are generally the property of the faculty member and not the university; as such, they are not university records.  However, in some cases, the archivist may be interested in collecting faculty papers.)*

How Long Do I Have to Keep a University Record?

Non-records (defined above) may be destroyed at any time, without following the destruction process below.

Transient or transitory records have a very short-lived administrative, legal or fiscal value and should be disposed in an appropriate manner once that administrative, legal or fiscal use has expired (providing there is no legal hold), and may be disposed of without following the destruction process below. Typically, the retention is not a fixed period of time and is event driven; it may be as short as a few hours and could be as long as several days or weeks. Transient/transitory records may include, but are not limited to:

  • preliminary drafts (when superseded)
  • memoranda (paper-based or email) pertaining to scheduling an event
  • documents designated as superseded or as-updated
  • user copies (not original document)*
  • post-its, phone messages

All other records should be retained in accordance with the University Retention Schedule in the gray menu on the left side of this page.  For questions specific to e-mail retention, please read the FAQs.


How Do I Destroy a University Record?

When a record reaches the end of its schedule, the Record Destruction form is to be used to request permission for destruction.                 

Once a destruction form has been submitted, your request will be reviewed by University Archives to determine if the records have archival value.  If it does not, the request will be forwarded to the Office of General Counsel to determine if it has met the proper retention period.  If it has, you will receive an email instructing you to destroy the records.  If University Archives wishes to collect the record, or if the record has not reached its retention period, you will be notified of such by email with further instructions.


When destroying records containing sensitive information, please be sure to utilize a secure method of destruction.


* These definitions and examples are provided by the 2009 IUC Model Retention Schedule.