Skip to main content

Office of Information Technology

Organizing Records with Retention Requirements

National Get Organized Month is an opportunity to reduce risk to the University by thinking about the type of data your office handles.

Begin by reviewing the University’s Records Retention and Disposal Policy and considering some of the actions provided below.

University Records Retention and Disposal Policy

American University requires records retention and disposal to be a standardized process. Access, maintenance, retention, and disposal procedures for university records must be followed 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these records, retained in locations other than official repositories, must also be properly disposed of when they are outdated and no longer useful. The policy was signed with an effective date of November 1, 2006.

Actions to consider for organizing your office’s data:

  •  Begin by scheduling an office meeting to determine whether your office has retention requirements for specific data.
  • Use the Record Retention and Disposal Policy to Guide your discussions.
  • Consider your office’s retention requirements.
  • Set guidelines and expirations for records identified by your office.
  • Avoid making duplicates of Confidential data – know where your Confidential office data resides
  • Shred paper documents no longer needed.
  • Delete electronic documents, no longer needed, from your shared and local drives.
  • Designate an electronic folder or physical location for storing data that needs to be retained for a specific period of time.
  • Review records identified with retentions annually to determine whether they should be deleted or shredded.