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Student Records

Faculty play a very important and unique role at the University. We’ve created an Educators' Toolkit that has quick links and information for faculty on how to handle course records.

The retention for e-mail is based on the content of each individual email. Emails that simply request or provide generic 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:

  • Complaints against UW employees or fellow students
  • Requests for a waiver or appeal
  • Grade appeals
  • Advising recommendations
  • Address disciplinary and conduct issues

For additional information on the retention of communication to and from students refer to this link. If you have questions about the retention for specific types of student communications, please contact us at 543-0573 or


The retention for course materials is one quarter (3 months) after the materials are no longer needed for agency business. The retention for student exams, papers, and assignments is one quarter (3 months) after the end of the quarter.

The University General Records Retention Schedule contains a section specifically for Student and Curriculum Records. Retention applies to all records relating to students, regardless of physical format or storage location. This includes e-mails, databases, and course content management systems such as Canvas/Catalyst.

If you are unable to find the student or curriculum record series you are looking for, please contact us at or 543-0573.

Yes. Because UW is a public agency, any and all records are subject to public records requests and audits - including student organization activities and purchases. The University has answered public records requests in the past that included financial and event records from student groups. Student organizations should use the General Records Retention Schedule to apply retention to their records.

Student organization leadership and their faculty advisor(s) are responsible for maintaining the records they receive, create, or use.