Records Management and Document Retention
Policy and Purpose
As an agency of the State of Connecticut, 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 a State Agency, 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 under section 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, the first step is to 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 links to the State of Connecticut’s Office of the Public Records Administrator website:
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:
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, or the Associate Director of Administrative Services, who serves as the Assistant Records Management Liaison Officer for the University, 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, notification has been made that WCSU has received approval to destroy the records and 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 Administrative Services Department will coordinate the scheduling of the destruction of the records with an outside provider.
Please remember that records may not be destroyed without following the procedures indicated above which is mandated by state statute. The state auditors do make note of this while performing their compliance audit.
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.
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. Please contact Administrative Services in University Hall for further information.
To receive assistance in completing the RC-108, or to receive assistance in storing records or categorizing proposed records for destruction, please contact Kim Spinelli at phone extension 7- or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions concerning whether or not certain files can be destroyed can be directed to Mark Case at phone extension 7-8657, email address email@example.com.
Many Records Management forms are presented in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, please download and install it from Adobe's web site.