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Tuscarawas News Detail

Legal Brief: Records Retention

Posted Nov. 19, 2012

“Legal Briefs” appears in e-Inside to keep faculty and staff informed of legal issues and their implications. An archive of past Legal Briefs is available online.

Under Ohio law, Kent State University has a responsibility to ensure that all of its records are maintained and disposed of in accordance with the institution’s retention schedule. You can view the retention schedule here.

A "record" is defined by the Ohio Revised Code as:

"Any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including an electronic record as defined in section 1306.01 of the Revised Code, created or received by or coming under the jurisdiction of any public office of the state or its political subdivisions, which serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office."

Pleases note that the above definition is not limited to the paper in your file cabinets or desk drawers; it includes emails, videotape, etc.

The University's retention schedule can assist faculty and staff in managing those records for which they are responsible.  The schedule is organized by type of record, and indicates how long each record should be kept before being destroyed or reviewed for historical value.  The retention schedule is modeled after the Inter-University Council’s (IUC) schedule, which is utilized at universities throughout Ohio.  When establishing retention periods, several factors were considered, including how long the record remains useful, and any state or federal requirements.

There is also a General Schedule adopted by the University for routine types of records, such as personal notes and blank forms.

When a record has reached the end of its retention period as listed in the schedule, approval from the Office of General Counsel and the University Archivist is required before the record can be destroyed.  Records listed in the General Schedule may be disposed of without prior approval.

To request approval, complete and submit the online Records Destruction form. The form is also available through the General Counsel website. Use your FlashLine user name and password to access the form.

Any questions should be directed to David Ochmann, associate counsel, at dochmann@kent.edu or Nichole DeCaprio, legal research specialist, at ndecapri@kent.edu.