Policy and Purpose
Records management, retention, and destruction represent important aspects in administrative oversight by all departments at the University. Official Departmental/University public records and files may not be destroyed or disposed of without proper, prior authorization. As an agency of the State of Connecticut, Western Connecticut State University is required to obtain permission from the Office of the Public Records Administrator and State Archives prior to the disposal of records after specific retention periods are met.
Definition of a Public Record
Per Connecticut General Statute, a “public record” or “file” means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract within the Connecticut General Statutes 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.
Disposition and Destruction of a Public Record
When considering whether or not a public record can or should be destroyed, the first step is to determine which department is responsible for the original version of the record and needs to adhere to the records disposal guidelines for that particular record.
For example, Academic Affairs completes a Purchase Requisition to obtain office supplies. Academic Affairs keeps a copy of the Purchase Requisition and forwards the original Purchase Requisition to the Purchasing Department. The Purchasing Department as the department responsible for retaining the original Purchase Requisition would in turn be the department responsible for obtaining permission to destroy the record in accordance with the Records Retention schedules.
In order to receive approval to destroy records which meet the records retention schedule standards, please consult the approved records retention schedules in determining the category of the records designated for destruction. The retention schedules may be found via the following link to the State of Connecticut’s Office of the Public Records Administrator website: https://ctstatelibrary.org/publicrecords/general-schedules-state.
The records retention schedules list record titles common to most State agencies. Determining where your records fall within these categories is sometimes difficult. Administrative Services is prepared to provide assistance to determine what Retention Schedule and Record Series Title you should use if a brief description of the records being disposed can be provided. It is important to ensure that none of the records you wish to destroy are categorized “permanent”, especially where personnel records are concerned.
Once the category of the records you wish to dispose of has been determined, State of Connecticut form RC-108 or RC-109 must be completed and sent to Administrative Services in University Hall on the Midtown Campus. This form can be downloaded via the following links:
RC 108 – Records Disposal Authorization Form
RC 109- Certificate of Records Disposition for Information Systems Records
After submittal of the RC108 or RC-109 form to Administrative Services, the Director of Administrative Services, who serves as the Records Management Liaison Officer for WCSU, will verify that these records meet the approved retention schedules for destruction and will sign the form accordingly. The signed RC-108 or RC-109 form will then be forwarded to the State Library for approval by the State Archivist. Once Administrative Services receives the approved document back from the State Archivist, a copy of the approved RC-108 or RC-109 form will be provided to the requesting department. Please be advised that the approval process may take several weeks. Upon such notification, the documents may be destroyed.
Retention of Electronic Messages: Electronic messages do not comprise a unique records series. Retention is based on the content of the message, not the media type. Most electronic messages have limited value and can be deleted immediately upon receipt. However, electronic messages that document agency functions and provide evidence of agency business must be retained according to the equivalent records series. Electronic messages are similar to traditional postal mail- the message must be evaluated for action and subsequent retention.
Frequently asked questions about E-mail
For questions regarding e-mail, please click on the link Email FAQ’s.
Storage of Records
University departments that must retain state records for a set length of time, as determined by the retention schedules, can store these either on-campus or off-campus.
Questions concerning records management and the destruction of records can be directed to Mark Case at phone extension 7-8657, email address firstname.lastname@example.org.