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 belong at home. If they belong to a former employee, they should be shredded 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. Records that document the University's business activities need to be retained based on the type of record it is; refer to the University's classification and retention schedule for guidelines on how long to retain these records. Records that are transitory can be destroyed as soon as they are no longer required.

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.

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, the Dean/Executive Director of the department and the University Archivist prior to destruction. 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.

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

A. Yes we have boxes for you - please see Transferring Inactive Records for Storage on our Forms page.

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 on our Forms page.

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

A. Student records must be retained for 1 year after the end of the semester and then can be shredded. Hard drives, cd/dvd's, etc are considered magnetic media and can also be destroyed through our shredding services.

Q. What do I do with old course outlines?

A. Course oulines are part of the professor's teaching materials and are therefore considered their intellectual property. Course oulines can be recycled once they have no further operational value.