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Records Retention & Disposition Schedule

The Records Retention and Disposition Schedule provides information on the ownership, retention, and disposition of Emerson College records, identifying who holds the records, how long they need to keep the records, and what they need to ultimately do with the records.

The Records Retention and Disposition Schedule covers many records created and used by the College. This schedule may be supplemented by program, department, or office-specific records policies and procedures. Applying retention rules into recordkeeping practice may not always be simple. For assistance in interpreting or implementing the schedules or creating a department-specific records policy contact the Archives.

Below you will find a table listing major functions performed and/or types of records created and maintained at Emerson College. By clicking on the numbered links next to the record class you can find the authorized retention periods for records within that category. All institutional records should be destroyed in a secure manner when their retention period has been met, or transferred to the College Archives for permanent retention and access as dictated by this schedule.

If you have questions about this schedule or cannot find the retention and disposition requirements for you records, please contact the Archives.


  • Records Retention and Disposition Schedule - The authoritative source of records created and used by Emerson College and their associated recordkeeping requirements. Recordkeeping requirements identified in the Schedule are based on U.S. federal or state statutory, regulatory or other legal requirements as well as College operational requirements. The Records Retention and Disposition Schedule defines what records are being managed, how long and under what lifecycle controls records need to be retained based on the College’s operational, legal/compliance, financial and historical requirements.
  • Retention Period - The length of time records should be kept in a certain location or form for administrative, legal, fiscal, historical, or other purposes.
  • Disposition- Disposition is the range of processes associated with implementing records retention, destruction or transfer decisions.
  • Records Owner - The Records Owner is the office or department designated as having responsibility for management, retention, and timely destruction of particular types of College Records. (For example, the Office of the Registrar is the Owner of student transcripts.)
  • Official Record-Records are considered ‘official’ when they are in a final form and have been authenticated by an authorized person or business application in the department or office that originates and finalizes them.
  • Duplicate Record (also known as convenience or reference copy)- A duplicate record is a copy of an official College Record held by another department or office as necessary to fulfill that department’s or office’s mission. Duplicate records should not be retained longer than the official record copy.


If your department or office receives a notice of a Records Preservation/Hold Order you must comply with the instructions from General Counsel’s office. A Records Preservation/Hold Order is an internal procedure to ensure that certain information is preserved which may be needed for reasonably anticipated or actual government investigation, audit, or litigation. A Records Preservation/Hold Order temporarily sets aside the retention period stated in the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule, and suspends destruction for the affected records until the Records Preservation/Hold Order is released.

Retention and Disposition Schedule

000 General Administrative Records – Meeting minutes and reports.  This also includes speeches, press releases, publications, and marketing materials generated by the College to communicate to the Emerson College community or the general public.
100 Academic Records -  Records that document teaching and learning, such as course schedules and descriptions, syllabi, and handbooks.  Funded and unfunded grant records and grant and contract accounting records. Faculty personnel records including tenure and promotion records. This schedule does not cover the teaching, research, professional, or personal files of the faculty.
200 Student Records -  Graduate and undergraduate matriculated and non-matriculated student records.
300 Financial Management – Investments, budgeting, accounts payable/receivable, financial reports, audits, and billing.
400 Human Resources Management – Employee records, handbooks, benefits and payroll.
500 Governance – Board of Trustees, by-laws, and policies.
600 Development & Alumni – Donations, gift agreements, and alumni records.
700 Construction/Facilities Management – Architectural drawings, building maintenance records, and contracts.
800 Legal – Copyright, trademark, consent orders, court orders, judgments, releases, and settlements.
900 Police Department – Accident Reports, crime logs, incident reports, property damage reports, and daily logs.
1000 Medical – Records created by any units or centers that provide medical treatment.