As with any other kind of record, the retention period for these types of electronic messages is based on the content of each individual message.

The vast majority of messages sent and received have a very transitory value. They may request or provide information but don’t serve any legal or financial purpose for the University. You may delete transitory messages as soon as a reply is given/received or as soon as you no longer need it for reference.

  • Routine replies/requests for information
  • Messages sent as reference or for informational distribution
  • Messages used to set-up or accept meetings
  • Announcements/Acknowledgements
  • Automated notifications
  • Preliminary drafts

Messages that inform decision-making or could potentially be relied upon legally or financially are substantive and must be retained as per the General Records Retention Schedule. Examples of substantive records include, but are not limited to:

  • Policy and procedure directives
  • Legal or audit issues
  • Approvals for purchases, HR decisions, or other actions to be taken
  • Final reports or recommendations
  • Grievances, disciplinary actions, and petitions/waivers
  • Documentation of departmental/office actions, decisions, operations and responsibilities