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Accreditation Documentation

Statistical, descriptive and evaluative materials necessary for a program, college or school to maintain accreditation with the professional association which sets the standards for that particular discipline.  Materials must have been created specifically for accreditation.

Official Copy: Dean's or Academic Offices
Retention: 6 years after accreditation, or until superseded by new accreditation, whichever is longer
Disposition Method: Transfer to Archives for review

Admission Applications -- Enrolled Graduate Students

A record of applicants accepted for admission and enrolled in a UW graduate program.

Official Copy: Graduate School
Retention: 6 years after degree awarded, or 6 years after last quarter of activity
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 6 years after degree awarded, or 6 years after last quarter of activity
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Admission Applications -- Enrolled Undergraduate Students

A record of applicants accepted for admission to and enrolled in a UW undergraduate program.

Official Copy: UW Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell Undergraduate Admissions Offices
Retention: 9 years after beginning of Fall Quarter of admission year
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 6 years after degree awarded, or 6 years after last quarter of activity
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Admission Applications -- Not Accepted, Not Entered, or Application Incomplete

A record of applicants for UW admission into an undergraduate, graduate, fellowship program, residence hall or student classification who were either denied; who were accepted but not entered; or who never completed the application process.

Official Copy: Admissions Offices or Any College/School or Department with an Admission Process
Retention: 1 year after completion of admission process
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: Student Services (Seattle and Tacoma)
Retention: 1 year after completion of admission process
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: UWB: Housing and Residential Life
Retention: 1 year after completion of admission process
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Advisor's Files

Advisor copies of student records used to monitor academic progress. May include grade reports, Advisor's Worksheets (unofficial transcripts), study abroad files, etc.

Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
Retention: 1 year after student inactive or graduated
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Agreements for Programs or Curriculum

A record of program agreements between UW offices and outside agencies. May include the following types of agreements: those that provide/obtain a learning experience for students outside the classroom, e.g., internships, clerkships, clinical practicums, traineeships, etc.; that provide/obtain reduced tuition and preference in admission for WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) region students or students from participating schools in other countries.

Official Copy: Any Office Signing the Agreement
Retention: 6 years after termination of agreement
Disposition Method: Transfer to Archives for review

Assistantship/Fellowship/Traineeship/Scholarships/Research Award/Student Award by Department -- Awarded

A record of applicants awarded grant, contract or state-funded assistantships, fellowships or traineeships. May include applications, recommendations, correspondence, etc. 

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 6 years after termination of award if not filed in student folder
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Assistantship/Fellowship/Traineeship/Scholarships/Research Award/Student Award by Department -- Denied

A record of applicants for grant, contract or state-funded assistantships, fellowships or traineeships who were not awarded the position. May include applications, recommendations, correspondence, etc. 

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 1 year after completion of application process
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Award Files

Provides a record of awards/special recognition and achievements for a program, department, or individual (including students). Includes monetary awards. Does not include scholarships.

Official Copy: Any Office
Retention: 6 years after award presented
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Change of College/School and/or Major Forms

A record of authorization from the appropriate Dean(s) for a student to change to a different college/school and/or major.

Official Copy: Registrar's Office
Retention: 2 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: UW Bothell: Student Affairs: Registrar
Retention: 2 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: Any Advisory Office/Dean's Office
Retention: 2 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Continuing Education Course Records

Provides a record of continuing education courses. May provide proof of attendance for professionals taking course for continuing education credit, financial records, registrant list, credits awarded, advertisements for course, course evaluation, contract with instructor, etc.

Official Copy: Any Office
Retention: 7 years after course completed
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Continuing Education Credit Course Planning Materials

Materials generated in the development of a course offered for continuing education credit. May include meeting minutes and agendas; planning teleconferences; emails; memos; correspondence; a copy of the proposal submitted to the credit awarding organization; etc.

Official Copy: Any Office
Retention: 7 years after course no longer offered
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Course Comment Sheets

A record of the evaluative comments written by students regarding the content and presentation of a course. NOTE: After comments are compiled by the Office of Educational Assessment, comment sheets are returned to departments.

Official Copy: Faculty/Academic Departments
Retention: 5 years after tenure approved or denied
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Course Evaluations

Compilations of ratings and comments from individual paper course evaluation forms.  Summaries are compiled by the Office of Educational Assessment and entered into the Instructional Assessment System (IASystem) where they are kept permanently.

Official Copy: Office of Educational Assessment
Retention: 6 months after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: Faculty/Academic Departments
Retention: 3 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Course Materials

Materials created and used as the basis for the content of a course.  May include notes, rubrics, PowerPoint slides, podcasts and other recordings.

Official Copy: Academic Departments
Retention: Retain until no longer needed for agency business plus one academic quarter (3 months)
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Credit by Exam Applications

A record of a student's eligibility to take an examination in order to obtain credit for a class without enrolling in it.

Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Graduation and Academic Records
Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: Until end of quarter in which exam is given
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Curriculum Committee Reports

A record of curriculum changes approved during the Curriculum Committee's monthly meeting. May include information on the addition, deletion or renaming of courses or degree programs.

Official Copy: Registrar -- General Catalog and Curriculum Office
Retention: 5 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Transfer to Archives

Other Copy: Academic Departments
Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Recycle or Delete

Curriculum Database Printouts

Quarterly comprehensive listing of all approved courses currently offered by an academic department.

Official Copy: Registrar -- General Catalog and Curriculum Office
Retention: 3 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Recycle or Delete

Other Copy: Academic Departments
Retention: see Electronic Records which do not need to be Retained. Specifically, Student Records.
Disposition Method: Recycle or Delete

Curriculum Proposals -- Approved

Documentation of the planning and development of academic courses or programs which have been approved. May include Course Change Applications, New Course Applications, departmental proposals and supporting papers (course or program descriptions, faculty data, etc.).

Official Copy: Registrar -- General Catalog and Curriculum Office
Retention: 2 years after course is dropped
Disposition Method: Transfer to Archives

Other Copy: Academic Departments
Retention: 5 years after proposal approved
Disposition Method: Transfer to Archives for review 

Curriculum Proposals -- Denied

Documentation of the planning and development of academic courses or programs that have not been approved. May include Course Change Applications, New Course Applications, departmental proposals and supporting papers (course or program descriptions, faculty data, etc.).

Official Copy: Registrar -- General Catalog and Curriculum Office
Retention: 2 years after end of academic year
Disposition Method: Recycle or Delete

Other Copy: Academic Departments
Retention: 1 year after proposal denied
Disposition Method: Recycle or Delete

Degree Applications

Graduation applications received by either the Registrar's Office (for the Bachelor's and Professional degrees) or the Graduate School (for Master's and Doctor's degrees). May include compiled lists of students eligible to graduate.

Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Graduation and Academic Records (for Bachelor's and Professional degrees)
Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: UW Bothell:  Student Affairs:  Registrar
Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: UW Tacoma:  Enrollment Services
Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: Graduate School (for Master's and Doctor's degrees)
Retention: 6 years after last quarter registered
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 1 year after date of graduation, or for those who do not graduate, 1 year after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) Report

Provides a record of student academic progress. Includes a list of courses taken and number of credits still necessary to complete general requirements for graduation and for completion of major/program. Reports may be printed by department or received as batch copy from Registrar's Office.

Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Degree Audit Reporting System
Retention: 3 months after audit of system, or report ordered
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: Until superseded
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Disciplinary Cases

A record of investigations and disciplinary actions taken pursuant to the Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-120). 

Official Copy: Office of the Vice Provost for Student Life - academic and non-academic cases
Retention: 7 years after disciplinary action has been taken and/or after the administrative purpose has been served
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: Dean -- for academic disciplinary actions & non-disciplinary actions
Retention: 7 years after disciplinary action has been taken and/or after the administrative purpose has been served
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: Housing and Food Services: Residential Life - residence hall cases
Retention: 7 years after disciplinary action has been taken and/or after the administrative purpose has been served
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: Department
Retention: 7 years after disciplinary action has been taken and/or after the administrative purpose has been served
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Disciplinary Investigations for Exonerated Students

A record of investigations into possible violations of the Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-120) for students who were subsequently exonerated. May include case materials and notice of exoneration. 

Official Copy: Any Office
Retention: Destroy upon complete exoneration
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

NOTE: By requirement of WAC 478-120-145, disciplinary records of exonerated students shall not be maintained.

Electronic Student Records that do not need to be printed or saved

The following student electronic records do not have to be saved or printed because they are extracted from a master file or database.  Reports printed from a database are considered duplicates and can be destroyed as soon as they have served their reference purpose. They will be visible and accessible for their full retention period in the system of record and can be reprinted as needed. The official copy is the original digital version.

Registrar
  • Curriculum Database Printouts
  • Grade Reports
  • Quarterly Grade Reports

Equipment Requests

Documents the check out and return of audio/visual and other equipment by students, staff and faculty.  If the equipment is not returned on time, a late fee is not incurred.

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 6 months after return of equipment
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Exams and Answer Sheets - Proficiency Placement & Credit by Exam

A record of student responses to placement exams administered by college/school or department to determine level of subject proficiency, or to authorize students for possible exemption from taking a course.

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 1 year after end of academic year
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

NOTE: A sample of each exam and its answer sheet should be retained with Course History Files.

Exams, Papers, Projects, and Other Assignments by Students

A record of  answers to examinations, as well as papers, projects and other assignments submitted by students in fulfillment of course or degree requirements.

NOTE: This retention period applies to those exams and assignments not retrieved by the student after they are graded.

Official Copy: Academic Departments
Retention: 1 quarter after the end of the quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

NOTE: A sample of each exam and its answer sheet should be retained with Course History Files.

Field Trip Permission Slips

A record of signed consent by a student, or legal guardian if the student is a minor, to participate in a field trip.

Official Copy: Any Office
Retention: 6 years from completion of field trip
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete or Delete

Grade Appeals and Grievance Files

A comprehensive record of a student's appeal of a grade, or other student grievance mediated within the department, school or college.

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 5 years after end of quarter in which issue is resolved
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Grade Books

Listing of student grades for exams, papers, projects, class participation for a particular course. Provides the basis on which the final grade is assigned. 

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 2 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Grade Confirmation Reports

Provides to a department confirmation of grades for all students in a course, as reported to the Registrar by the instructor each quarter.

Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Data Services
Retention: Sent to department; no paper copy retained
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: UW Bothell: Student Affairs: Registrar
Retention: Sent to department; no paper copy retained
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 2 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Grade Reports (Quarterly)

A record of a student's grades for all courses taken in a quarter, sent by the Registrar's Office to the student's major department.

Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Data Services
Retention: 1 month after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: Until transcript is received
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Grade Sheets (Instructor's Grade Report Sheet)

Listings of the quarterly grade assigned by the instructor to each student in a course, and sent to the Registrar's Office for recording. Includes Grade Change Forms.

Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Graduation and Academic Records
Retention: 5 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: UW Bothell:  Student Affairs:  Registrar
Retention: 5 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: UW Tacoma:  Enrollment Services
Retention: 5 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: Until superseded by verified Grade Confirmation Report
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Major Application -- Undergraduate

A record of applicant's petition for major standing within an academic program. 

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: If approved - as part of student folder; If not approved - 1 year after quarter of denial
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Outreach Programs

Documents department or program outreach efforts to the University as well as to specific audiences outside the University community.

Official Copy: Any Office
Retention: 6 years after end of calendar year
Disposition Method: Transfer to Archives for review

Program Review and Evaluation

Documents the internal and external evaluation and review of graduate and undergraduate departments, special programs/interdisciplinary centers/institutes within a specific school or college. May include comments from outside sources, students, faculty, administrators, other interested parties, and institutional comparisons. Includes 10 year departmental self-evaluation and review.

Official Copy: Any Office
Retention: 6 years after end of calendar year
Disposition Method: Transfer to Archives for review 

Reference Letters (Students)

Letters of reference prepared by UW faculty and staff regarding UW students or former UW students with whom they are acquainted. 

Official Copy: Any Office
Retention: 1 year after end of calendar year
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Registered Lists

Listing of courses for which a student is registered during a particular quarter. Previously in card form, now on-line.

Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Data Services
Retention: 1 year after report is run
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: Until superseded by quarterly grade report
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Registrar's Statistical Reports

Compilations of data obtained by the Registrar's Office regarding student enrollment, courses, grade distribution, scholarship, ethnicity of students, etc. May include Class Enrollment Count, Class Size Monitoring Report, Class Standing by College, Course Content Report, Cumulative Registration Enrollment Report, Ethnic Enrollment Survey, Grade Distribution Report, Graduate Students List, Registered List, Scholarship Reports, Variable Credit Class Census, Withdrawn Students List, etc.

Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Data Services
Retention: Variable depending on report, refer to departmental records retention schedule; transfer to Archives for review
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: UW Bothell: Student Affairs: Registrar
Retention: Variable depending on report, refer to departmental records retention schedule; transfer to Archives for review
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Registration Petitions

Records relating to student requests to the Registrar’s Office for a change to their status or fee requirements within a single quarter.  Includes petitions for hardship withdrawals to drop a class, requests to modify and/or correct student records, and petitions to waive or refund late registration fees, change of registration fees, or confirmation of enrollment deposits.

Official Copy: Registrar's Office
Retention: 6 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: UW Bothell: Registrar's Office
Retention: 6 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Official Copy: UW Tacoma: Enrollment Services
Retention: 6 years after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 1 quarter after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Resident Physician/Medical Student Evaluation -- Raw Data

Comprised of questionnaires used to provide an evaluative record of resident physicians or medical students. Evaluation forms are summarized and merged into Departmental Resident Files or Medical Student Folders. 

Official Copy: Any Department
Retention: 5 years after resident/medical student has graduated or until any dispute involving the resident/medical student has been resolved, whichever occurs later
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Resident Physician/Medical Student Evaluations -- Summaries

Provides an evaluative record of resident physicians or medical students. Evaluations are completed by attending physicians, peer physicians, supervising physicians, residents, or medical students. Includes evaluative comments regarding clinical knowledge, skills, interpersonal relationships, and personal/professional characteristics. The evaluations are merged into Department Resident Files or Medical Student Folders. 

Official Copy: Any Department
Retention: Resident Files- Variable, depending upon departmental retention schedule for Resident Files Medical Student Folders- 45 years after degree is awarded
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Resident/Fellowship Files

Provides a comprehensive record of accepted applicants to a residency or fellowship program. Used to verify completion of residency or fellowship education requirements. May include evaluations, letters of recommendation, application, correspondence, Certification of Residency, certification of completion, etc. 

Official Copy: Any Department with a Residency or Fellowship Program
Retention: 45 years after completion of residency or fellowship or withdrawal from program
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Scholarships Awarded by Department -- Program Records

A record of a departmentally-administered scholarship program (not administered by UW Office of Student Financial Aid). May include documentation of the establishment of the fund (administrative requirements for the scholarship, donations received, copies of wills, etc.), correspondence regarding the scholarship program, list of recipients, etc.

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 6 years after termination of program
Disposition Method: Transfer to Archives for review 

Scholarships Awarded by Financial Aid

A record of scholarship funds awarded to students through the Office of Student Financial Aid. May include administrative requirements for the scholarship, correspondence, lists of recipients, etc.

Official Copy: Office of Student Financial Aid
Retention: 5 years after funds are dispersed
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 3 years after award
Disposition Method: Transfer to Archives for review 

Special Educational Forums, Events and Activities

A record of the planning, development and presentation of special educational forums or events presented or sponsored by the UW or held in UW facilities. May include project/planning files for student enrichment. Includes lecture series, conferences, seminars, short courses, conventions, institutes, field trips, summer camps, etc. Does not include permission slips or financial records.

Official Copy: Any Office
Retention: 5 years after end of calendar year
Disposition Method: Transfer to Archives for review 

Student Emails / Correspondence with Students

The retention for e-mail is based on the content of each individual email. Emails that simply request or provide information are transitory and can be deleted as soon as a reply is given or received. E-mails that inform decision-making or could potentially be relied upon legally or financially are substantive and must be retained as per an approved retention schedule.

Examples of transitory emails:

  • Answer directional questions such as:
    • "When is the test?"
    • "What are your office hours?"
    • "How do I apply for this program?"
  • Provide generic information
  • Contain information or links from a source such as a website, database, or content management system

Examples of substantive emails:

Student Employment Recruitment Files

Provides a record of prospective employers recruiting for full, part-time, or work study employees at UW sponsored events or using UW sponsored resources including Career Fairs, Husky Employer Partnership Program, Featured Employers Night, virtual Resume Books, etc . May include registration forms, recruiting information, publicity documents, data sheets, lists of interviewees, etc. May also include Job Location and Development Program job listings; maintained as per 34 CFR 675.36, 34 CFR 375.19, and 34 CFR 668.24.

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 6 years after the end of the academic year
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Student Folders

A record of the academic history of degree (undergraduate, graduate, professional) and non-degree (certificate, fellowship, professional) students who have taken university courses, including internships/externships.  Includes admission applications, student classification, and evaluative/progress report documentation.

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 6 years after degree awarded or last activity
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Student Folders -- Non Matriculated and Visiting Students

A record of students who have taken classes at the UW but have not been admitted to a degree program. Transcripts may be used to document completion of course requirements.

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 3 years after last quarter of activity
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Student Folders -- Non-Academic

A record of students who have received services provided by University resources. Includes but is not limited to writing center and other tutoring programs, tracking and monitoring success rates of participants in pre-enrollment programs, diagnostic and counseling services, accommodations requested, offered and provided, tracking of student health information including immunization history, tracking of student compliance with non-UW rules and regulations, etc.

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 6 years after last contact
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Student Petitions and Waivers

Provides a record of a petitions and waivers for a change to the status of a student, or for exemption from a fee or requirement.  Also includes release from liability.

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 6 years after graduation or last contact with student
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Student Tickler File

Notes and lists used as a memory tickler to help faculty and staff identify former students for the purpose of writing letters of reference for them. Lists may include: names of students, dates degrees awarded, titles of final projects, final grades, grade point averages, etc.

Official Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: Until administrative purpose is served
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Textbook Desk Copy Requests to Publishers

Requests from faculty or staff to publishers for a free desk copy of a textbook being used in the classroom. May include correspondence.

Official Copy: Any Office
Retention: 6 years after end of the quarter
Disposition Method: Recycle

Textbook Orders (Faculty Information Sheet for Textbooks)

Requests for course textbooks.

Official Copy: Any Office
Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Recycle

Theses and Dissertations

A record of student theses and dissertations produced to satisfy degree requirements.

Official Copy: UW Libraries
Retention: Permanent

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: 6 years after degree awarded
Disposition Method: Recycle or Delete

Time Schedule Changes (Requests for Change in the Quarterly Time Schedule)

Requests from academic departments to list a new course or to change the listing for a course in the forthcoming Time Schedule. NOTE: Changes formerly submitted via form UW 20-506 are now transmitted via e-mail. 

Official Copy: Registrar -- Time Schedule and Room Assignment Office
Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Recycle 

Official Copy: UWB:  Student Affairs:  Registrar
Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Recycle

Other Copy: Academic Departments
Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
Disposition Method: Recycle

Transcripts (Permanent Student Record)

A record of the UW academic history of a student in terms of the courses taken, grades and degrees received. May also be used as Advisor's Worksheets.

Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Administration
Retention: Permanent

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: While enrolled or until superseded
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Undergraduate Admissions Referral Forms

Requests from the Undergraduate Admissions Office for evaluations from a department regarding individual candidate admissibility into a specific major. 

Official Copy: Undergraduate Admissions
Retention: If not accepted, or not entered - 1 year after beginning of quarter for which applied. If admitted - as part of student folder
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Other Copy: College/School or Department
Retention: If not accepted, or not entered - end of quarter for which applied. If admitted - as part of student folder
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete