REG 01.25.12 – University Record Retention and Disposition Regulation

Authority: Issued by the Chancellor.

History: First Issued: August 14, 2007. Last Revised: August 28, 2023.

Related Policies:
2021 UNC System Retention and Disposition Schedule
NC State University Campus-Specific Record Retention and Disposition Schedule  
(NC State Specific Schedule)
NCSU REG04.00.02 – Public Records Requests
NCSU REG07.40.01 – Disposal of University Property

Additional Reference:
Request for Approval of Unit Specific Schedule/Agenda  (NOTE: this should download a Word document)

Unit Request for Destruction of Unscheduled Records
State Archives of North Carolina – Government Records Branch Web site
State Archives of North Carolina – Guidelines for Managing Trustworthy Digital Public Records 
State Archives of North Carolina – Security Backup Files as Public Records
North Carolina General Statute 121-2(8)
North Carolina General Statute 132-1

Contact Info: Vice Chancellor and General Counsel (919-515-3071); University Records Officer (919-515-2002); University Archivist (919-513-3673 or 515-2273); CIO and Vice Chancellor for Information Technology (919-515-0141)


State law requires agencies, including NC State University (“NC State”) to retain Public Records and prohibits their destruction except in accordance with the consent of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR). This regulation sets forth NC State’s records retention policy and procedures in compliance with North Carolina law.


2.1 “Historical Value” means records that have administrative, legal, fiscal or evidential importance as well as those records documenting significant events, actions, decisions, conditions, relationships and similar developments.

2.2 “Public Record” means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, electronic records such as emails, text messages, instant messages, databases, calendars, and other documents or communications that exist in an electronic format, magnetic or other tapes, artifacts or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions. Personal records such as personal email messages do not constitute public records.

2.3 “Short-Term Value” means those records possessing only brief administrative, fiscal, legal, research or reference value. This category of record includes, but is not limited to, the following: reservations, routing slips, facsimile cover sheets, and those records that do not contain information necessary to conduct official business, meet statutory obligations, carry out administrative functions, or meet organizational objectives.

2.4 “University Personnel” includes all employees of the university whether permanent, temporary, full-time or part-time, faculty, staff, administrators, student employees and agents of the university (including volunteers but not including independent contractors) to the extent they are acting within the scope of their agency authority.

2.5 “Unscheduled Record” means any record not listed in the University of North Carolina System Records and Retention Disposition Schedule, 2017 NC State Schedule, or Unit Specific Schedule approved by the DNCR.


This regulation applies to all University personnel and covers all records, regardless of form, made or received in connection with the transaction of University business.


4.1 System Schedule

4.1.1 The DNCR requires all universities in the University of North Carolina System to use the University of North Carolina System Records Retention and Disposition Schedule (“System Schedule”). NC State may only use the 2017 NC State University Campus-Specific Records Retention and Disposition Schedule (the “NC State Schedule”) for the destruction or other disposition of University records not found in the System Schedule.

4.1.2 The System Schedule may be supplemented by individual unit specific schedules (“Unit Specific Schedules”) approved by the DNCR.  Unit Specific Schedules approved prior to September 1, 2017 are superseded and no longer effective.

4.1.3 The System Schedule and all approved supplemental institutional Unit Specific Schedules govern the retention and disposition of all records. Records, including electronic records, not listed in a schedule or in an official approved Unit Specific Schedule may not be destroyed unless specific approval from the DNCR is obtained.

4.1.4 Notwithstanding the instructions of the System Schedule and approved Unit Specific Schedule, any records subject to audit or official investigative proceedings or that relate to pending or probable litigation must be retained until the final conclusion of the audit, official proceedings or litigation and an official release has been communicated by either the Auditor or the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, as applicable.

4.2 Records Destruction

4.2.1 Records may be destroyed when they have met their retention requirements under an approved schedule.

4.2.2 Records with short-term value may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of when their reference value ends.

4.2.3 Unscheduled records may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of only with the approval of DNCR, as outlined in Section 6 below.


If units cannot locate particular records in the System Schedule, then the unit should contact the University Archivist or the University Records Officer for assistance. If the University Archivist and the University Records Officer determine that there is no appropriate record series in the System Schedule that meets the needs of the unit, then the unit must submit a “Request for Change in College/University Records Schedule” form to the University Archivist or the University Records Officer for review. If approved, the Archivist or Records Officer will forward the request to the DNCR for final approval. The DNCR is responsible for adding the record series to the System Schedule.


Authorization for destruction of Unscheduled Records may be obtained from the DNCR. To obtain such approval, the unit must submit a “Unit Request for Destruction of Unscheduled Records” to the University Archivist and the University Records Officer for review. If the University Archivist determines that the record has historical value, the unit will be notified of the possibility of transferring the record(s) to the Archives or to another designated, authorized permanent storage area. If the University Archivist determines that the records do not have historical value, then the University Archivist will forward the Unit Request for Destruction of Unscheduled Records to the DNCR for approval. No destruction of any Unscheduled Record may take place until the unit is notified in writing of the DNCR approval.


7.1 Unit Record Retention Management Practices.

7.1.1 Establishing Record Retention Management Practices. University units are responsible for establishing appropriate record retention management practices that are consistent with this regulation, the procedures of the System Schedule and any DNCR approved Unit Specific Schedule. University personnel are responsible for preserving their emails in accordance with the System Schedule, notwithstanding any automatic NC State email retention or computer backup. The DNCR provides guidance on the methods for managing, storing, preserving and destroying emails.

7.1.2 Records Manager. Each unit head should identify and appoint a Records Manager who shall be responsible for ensuring (a) that unit records are retained and disposed of in accordance with the System Schedule and Unit Specific Schedule; (b) that access to confidential university records and information is restricted; (c) that records with historical value are delivered to the University Archivist; and (d) that accurate records of destruction or transfer activity are maintained. The Records Manager shall also process appropriate unit requests for approval of Unit Specific Schedules, as necessary. Records Managers should be familiar with the guidelines contained in the System Schedule and the NC State Schedule.

7.1.3 University Personnel Termination or Transfer. When university personnel ends or changes their affiliation with the university, it is the responsibility of the relevant unit supervisor to ensure that records under the responsibility of that university personnel are retained or disposed of in compliance with this regulation. This action should be taken before the university personnel leaves.

7.1.4 Retention of Electronic Records Created Using Non-University Accounts. If university personnel use email addresses or software not maintained or provided by the university (e.g. Yahoo, personal Gmail) to create or receive email or other electronic records to transact university business, then such university personnel are responsible for retaining and disposing of the records in accordance with the System Schedule.