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Records & Information Management

Records & Information Management (RIM) regulates the creation, maintenance, use, and disposal of records and information for efficient business practices and regulatory compliance. RIM best practices ensure that records are appropriately managed and preserved, can be retrieved as needed, and are disposed of according to policy requirements. Policy & Records Administration facilitates implementation of the UC Records Management Program at UC San Diego.

UC Records Management Program

The university creates, gathers, and maintains operational and historic records of its activities in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations as well as university policy. The University of California Records Management Program establishes policy and provides guidelines for best practice lifecycle management of university records.

On campus, the Records Management Program Oversight Steering Committee is charged with implementing the Records Management Program in accordance with UC policy. In conjunction with Policy & Records Administration, the committee provides guidance and recommendations for best practices on a variety of records related issues, including: vital records, records systems design and implementation, and review of adequate controls to comply with legal and regulatory requirements.

Records Management Guidelines for Returning to Work

Don’t leave UC records at home.

When you return to work on site, return any hard copy or digital records to your official record-keeping systems. Even if you have not used a particular record for more than a year, that doesn’t mean you should destroy or delete it.

Review the information below to determine which records you should retain and where to keep them.

  1. Keep your personal papers at home. Try to avoid co-mingling your personal records with your business records.
  2. Safeguard UC records. Understand the sensitivity of the information that you create and use, and take appropriate precautions to safeguard it when returning to the workplace. Be sure to secure paper files, computers and other devices while in transit, avoid making stops between home and your workplace, and avoid leaving paper records, computers and other devices unattended.
  3. Inventory your records. You should keep a list of your records that includes where they are located and how long you are required to retain them. This inventory (or File Plan) may also identify where you keep the records while they are active and while they are inactive. It may also indicate how to dispose of the records once the retention period has lapsed.
  4. Review your records and identify those that are inactive. Inactive records are those that are no longer required for your day-to-day business activities and may be obsolete. Systematically remove records from active systems and prime office spaces.
  5. Identify the retention period for your records. The university has a retention schedule that identifies records by function and provides specific retention periods. You must follow the retention schedule.
  6. Purge your electronic files. Review electronic records and purge those that have passed the required retention period.
  7. Refer to the UC Institutional Information Disposal Standard for proper destruction of electronic records.
  8. Do not delete records that are the subject of a litigation hold or other records freeze, or have been requested pursuant to the California Public Records Act, an investigation, an ongoing audit, or other legal process. If you have questions about whether records are required to be preserved for legal reasons, contact Campus Counsel.
  9. Purge your paper files. Review paper records and destroy those that have passed the required retention period.
  10. Do not purge records that are the subject of a litigation hold or other records freeze, or have been requested pursuant to the California Public Records Act, an investigation, an ongoing audit, or other legal process. If you have questions about whether records are required to be preserved for legal reasons, contact Campus Counsel.
  11. Recycle paper records that do not have to be shredded.
  12. Records containing Personally Identifiable, Protected Health, Proprietary, Confidential or Sensitive Information should be destroyed in a secured manner, such as secure shredding.
    1. Consider the subject matter or contents of the materials.
    2. If a file contains information that, if accessed or used inappropriately, could adversely affect the university, its partners, or the public, then it must NOT be recycled; it must be destroyed.
  13. Store records that have a finite retention period.
    1. Transfer physical records to an off-site records storage center. UC uses a systemwide master service agreement to store inactive records at Iron Mountain facilities. Procurement can assist in setting up a departmental agreement if one is not already in place.
    2. Label or tag electronic records with retention dates so that they can be scheduled for deletion when appropriate.
  14. Keep records that have a permanent retention period. Consult with your University Archivist for appropriate procedures.
  15. Contact Policy & Records Administration if you have questions. If you have questions about the retention schedule, proper records destruction methods or best record management practices, we are happy to help! We can also conduct customized departmental trainings.



Administrative Records

The UC Records Retention Schedule defines retention and disposition requirements for all administrative records owned by the University of California campuses, the Office of the President, University of California health sciences centers, and Department of Energy laboratories managed by the University of California.

UC Information Technology Services has systemwide policy responsibility for records, information practices, and maintenance of the Records Disposition Schedules Manual. At the UC San Diego campus, the Records Management Coordinator is responsible for implementing and managing the records program, as required by the Business and Finance Bulletins, Records Management Program (RMP) series.

Records Related to Research

The UC Contract and Grant Manual contains a comprehensive chapter on Records/Paperwork Access and Management. The UC Vice Provost for Research has compiled a matrix of retention and disposition requirements for Administrative Records Related to Research. In all instances, contracts associated with extramural funding should be consulted for specific retention and disposition requirements applicable to an individual award.

Benefits of Proper Records Management

Save Space

Remove records that have passed their retention date from storage areas and archives (on/off campus, in all media) and recycle, shred, or destroy them. Move records not required for daily operations or frequent reference, but which have not reached their disposition date, out of offices to storage areas and out of active electronic mailboxes to electronic archives.

Save Money

Avoid purchasing equipment, supplies, and disk space to file unneeded records. Use less expensive storage facilities for inactive records and release surplus filing equipment and space for reuse.

Save Time

Easily locate active records by removing inactive material from paper and electronic files.

Protect the University

Ensure that all legal, historical, fiscal, and administrative requirements are satisfied before records are destroyed.


Policy & Records Administration offers the following classes three times per year. Visit the UC Learning Center for more information and to enroll.

Confidentiality of Records: Privacy, Access, and the Law

Helpful to anyone who collects, maintains or may be asked to release student or university records or information of a personal or confidential nature.

Basic Elements of Filing Systems

Learn the concepts and procedures for creating a sound records filing system.

Basics of Records Management

Learn how to better manage the information that flows through an office and the importance of maintaining and protecting that information. Those who need to learn how to evaluate records for retention, for archival/historical value, or for destruction will find this class useful.

Contact Us

Paula Johnson
(858) 534-2552

Stasi Chase
(858) 534-3394

UC Records Retention Schedule

Records Management Policies