Records Management and Archives

University System of Georgia records retention policies and procedures


The intent of the Records Retention Guidelines is to establish consistent record retention practices by member institutions of the University System of Georgia, in order to allow ongoing compliance with federal and state law, including the Georgia Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-90 et seq.), and to meet requirements of external entities, such as accrediting bodies. The Guidelines consisting of a list of more than 400 different types of records organized into 15 categories, have been developed from inventories submitted by the 35 institutions and should be consulted to determine the minimum retention time for a particular type of record.

The Guidelines are not intended to be exhaustive in scope nor will each institution necessarily generate all of the records listed. Certain types of records may also appear under two or more categories. The retention period for each listed record in the Guidelines is the minimum period of time that an institution must maintain that particular record to meet legal and/or fiscal governmental directives, if available. If no such retention criterion exists for a particular record, the retention period is the Georgia statute of limitations for legal claims, plus one year, applicable to that type of record. Maintenance of a record in excess of the retention period, the physical location of records during the retention period, and the media selected to maintain records are institutional decisions to be influenced by the resources and needs of each institution, although an internally consistent retention practice is encouraged within each institution.

Inactive records designated by the Guidelines as “Permanent” must be transferred to the institution’s college or university Archives for long-term preservation as part of the historical record. If the institution does not have an official Archives, “Permanent” records must be maintained in the location specified for the “record copy.”

The Georgia Archives University System of Georgia administers the Records Retention Guidelines and is the source for information as well as answers to questions concerning implementation of the Guidelines. The Electronic Records Manager for Georgia Archives shall approve all additions to, deletions from, and revisions of the Records Retention Guidelines.