Records Retention Policy


Lewis & Clark College requires that different types of records be retained for specific periods of time, and has designated official repositories for their maintenance. These records must be managed according to procedures that are outlined in this document.


The college is committed to effective record retention to preserve its history, meet legal standards, optimize the use of space, minimize the cost of record retention, and ensure that outdated and useless records are destroyed.


All units of Lewis & Clark including Lewis & Clark College of Arts and Sciences, Lewis & Clark Law School, and Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling


  • Deans, directors, and unit heads
  • Administrative staff responsible for the maintenance of College records
  • Anyone accessing college records


Direct any questions about this policy to your unit’s administrative manager. If you have questions about specific issues, call the following offices:





Electronic Media Storage

Information Technology


Permanent Storage of Inactive Records College Archives 503-768-7279
Records Management College Archives 503-768-7279
Policy Clarification or Exceptions General Counsel 503-768-7691


These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy:

Active Record A record with current administrative use for the unit that generated it. Records remain active for varying numbers of years, depending on the purpose for which they were created.

Archival Record A record that is inactive, not required to be retained in the office in which it originated or was received, and has permanent or historic value. Archival records are retained and preserved indefinitely in the College Archives, or other permanent storage place approved by the appropriate Dean or Vice President.

Official Repository The unit designated as having responsibility for retention and timely destruction of particular types of official college records. Such responsibility is assigned to the unit’s administrative manager or a designee.

College Archives A component of the Aubrey R. Watzek Library Special Collections that promotes knowledge and understanding of the college’s origins, aims, programs, and goals; and facilitates effective records management. This includes permanent retention of official records and reports of the college, its officers and component parts; maps and architectural records; audiovisual materials, including still photographs and negatives, motion picture film, oral history interviews, audio and video tapes; and artifacts and ephemera documenting the college’s history.

College Archivist The individual responsible for (1) designating which official college records are archival, and (2) effecting the transfer of archival records from the office in which they originated or were received to the College Archives at such times and in the manner and form prescribed by the Archives, and subject to the appropriate retention and disposition schedules that are outlined in this document.

College Record The original copy of any record.

Retention Schedule The official retention schedule of the College is attached as Table 1. The Retention Schedule lists the Official Repository for specific records and the retention period.


Lewis & Clark College requires consistent treatment of records. Maintenance, retention, and disposal procedures of college records must be followed systematically by staff in designated official repositories. In addition, duplicate or multiple copies of these records retained in locations other than official repositories must also be disposed of when they are outdated and no longer useful.

This policy is intended to ensure that the college:

  • Meets legal standard

  • Optimizes the use of space

  • Minimizes the cost of record retention

  • Preserves the college’s history

  • Destroys outdated and useless records


Responsibilities for Managing Official College Records:

Departments and units that maintain college records are called “official repositories.” These administrative units are responsible for following established record retention management practices. Each unit’s administrative manager or a designee must:

  • Implement the unit’s and/or office’s record management practices in accordance with the Retention Schedule

  • Ensure that these management practices are consistent with this policy

  • Educate staff within the administrative unit in understanding sound record management practices

  • Preserve inactive records of historic value, and transfer those records to the College Archives

  • Ensure that access to confidential files is restricted. Long-term restrictions on access to selected archival records should be specified at the time of their transfer to the College Archives

  • Destroy, or make arrangements for College Archives to destroy, records that have no archival value in accordance with the Retention Schedule.

Questions about these responsibilities should be directed to the College Archivist, who will work closely with units to ensure understanding of this policy and implementation of these responsibilities.

Preserving or Disposing of Official College Records:

When the prescribed retention period (see Retention Schedule) for official college records has passed, a determination of whether to preserve or dispose of the documents must be made. To decide if the record is of historic value to the college, consult the College Archivist, who has the authority to designate which records are archival.

Option A: Archival Records

If it has been determined through consultation with the College Archivist that the records are archival, they may be transferred to College Archives. Consult the College Archives website to see guidelines for boxing and labeling archival materials. Delivery of materials to the archives should be arranged with Facilities Services by the record creator.

Option B: Non-archival Records

If you have determined that it is appropriate to dispose of the records, destroy them in one of the following ways:

  1. Recycle non–confidential paper records
  2. Shred small to medium sized batches of confidential records in an onsite locked Shred bin provided on campus.
  3. Contact the College Archivist to make arrangements for the destruction of large batches of records
  4. Erase or destroy electronically stored data; consult with IT regarding the proper destruction of electronic records.
  5. Departments are responsible to contact any hosted locations to destroy documents annually.

Caution: Periodically, review records generated and maintained in college information systems or equipment (including mainframe, mini, and micro computing/storage systems) to ensure that these requirements are met.

Record Retention: Location and Duration

The Retention Schedule (Table 1) lists the current official repositories/creators of college records, as well as how long these records must be retained. Record retention periods may be increased by government regulation, judicial or administrative consent order, private or governmental contract, pending litigation or audit requirements. Such modifications supersede the requirements listed in this policy. Changes to the Retention Schedule or suspension of record destruction for any of these reasons, must be cleared or initiated by the General Counsel.

Note: No document list can be exhaustive. Questions regarding the retention period for any specific document or class of documents not included in these tables should be addressed to the Assistant to General Counsel at extension 7689.

Changes or Additions to the Retention Schedule

Caution: Departments and units that are not official repositories and that retain duplicate or multiple copies of college records should dispose of them when they are no longer useful, but no longer than the retention period set forth on the Retention Schedule.

The adoption of this policy does not relieve or otherwise affect the pre-existing obligation of any department to maintain records relating to a matter under litigation, government audit, or investigation. All such records should be preserved until the matter to which they relate has been finally resolved and the General Counsel has approved their disposition. Any questions about the application of this exception should be directed to the Assistant to the General Counsel at (503) 768-7689.

Each Official Repository and the College Archivist should review document retention on an annual basis and destroy documents in accordance with the Retention Schedule. Consequently, documents may be maintained longer than the date that the Retention Schedule indicates for their destruction until the annual review date.

Approval Date

Approved by the Executive Council, October 3, 2012.