Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I need to keep EVERYTHING I create or receive in the course of my work?

A. No. Some records you create or receive may be transitory in nature or your office may not be the Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) so your copy is not the official record subject to retention policies.

Q. What about personal documents/correspondence?

A. Personal documents and correspondence are not university records and do not belong in University recordkeeping systems. Delete or forward personal emails to a personal email account and save personal documents to your P:// drive. If they belong to a former employee, they should be destroyed or returned to the owner.

Q. Do I need to keep emails?

A. Email should be managed the same as other University records, according to the content of the email. Emails that provide evidence of business transactions of the University, document decisions made, or provide advice are University records and need to be retained in accordance with retention policies.

Q. How long do I need to keep records?

A. It depends. The master copies of University Records, which document the University's business activities, need to be retained according to the rules defined in the University of Lethbridge Classification System. Records that are transitory can be destroyed as soon as they are no longer needed.

Q. What is a retention schedule?

A. A formal document that defines the retention periods and subsequent disposition actions authorized for records identified in the schedule. The University's retention schedules are in the University of Lethbridge Classification System.

Q. How do I dispose of records?

A. It depends on the record. Official University records should be scheduled for disposition and signed off by Records Management and the Dean/Executive Director of the department prior to disposition. If the records are scheduled for archival selection, the University Archivist will also review them as part of the disposition process. Any transitory records containing personal information or confidential business information should be shredded.

Q. Can I destroy records that have been scanned?

A. No. Currently the University of Lethbridge does not have policies in place that will authorize the destruction of source records after scanning. Once developed, this policy will set a framework for departments to develop procedures that will ensure that digitized records meet minimum standards for authenticity, reliability, and long-term preservation before source documents are destroyed. 

Q. How do I transfer records to you? Do you have boxes I can use?

A. Yes we have boxes for you. Please see the Transferring Records procedure for details on requesting boxes and preparing your records for transfer.

Q. I sent records for storage but now need to reference a file, can I get the file back?

A. Yes, you can retrieve the file. Please see Retrieving Records from Storage for details. 

Q. What about student work, hard drives, cd's, etc?

A. Student work must be retained for 1 year after the end of the semester and then destroyed. Records Management can store student work until the 1 year period is over and then destroy it for you. See Student Work for more information, Hard drives, cd/dvd's, and other non-paper items can be destroyed through our shredding services as long as they do not contain any master copies of University Records.