The following records retention guidelines provide recommendations for the disposition of public affairs, news, and communications records. Those records document the activities and events of Duke University and its schools, departments, programs, and centers. They also serve to highlight the accomplishments of faculty, students, and staff locally and around the world.
These guidelines apply to public affairs, news, and communications records and data stored on any and all media. These guidelines do not obligate an office to create records that did not previously exist.
Some information used in the management and oversight of public affairs activities is financial in nature. An office should follow procedures laid out in Financial Services' General Accounting Procedure 200.240, Retention Periods for Accounting Records, when fiscal records are being disposed of.
Public affairs, news and communications offices rely almost exclusively on electronic or “born digital” records created with word processing, spreadsheet, electronic mail, website authoring, or database programs to carry out their business and activities. While the all-encompassing term “records” includes any recorded information stored on any medium, the guidelines attempt to recognize that a series may contain paper and electronic records. As electronic records are created, managed, and stored throughout their life cycle of usefulness, these guidelines should serve as a general strategy for identifying basic retention needs for different sets of information.
Using the Retention Guidelines
The retention guidelines identify minimum retention periods for public affairs, news, and communications records. Records not identified in these guidelines should not be disposed of without first consulting the University Records Manager, the University Archivist, or the Medical Center Archivist. Records that are involved in an investigation, legal action or proceeding, audit, or program review, whether forthcoming or in progress, should be retained until the resolution of those actions.
Following the minimum retention period, the records in question should be disposed of according to the recommendations in these guidelines. In some cases it is important to destroy information (excluding records identified for permanent retention) using a method that preserves its confidentiality. Duke
University maintains contracts with several shredding facilities; visit Procurement Services’ website at http://www.procurement.duke.edu/ for more information.
If you need assistance or guidance in transferring records to the University Archives call 660-5820.
For the Medical Center Archives, visit http://archives.mc.duke.edu or call 919-383-2653.
The University Records Manager will review the retention guidelines for public affairs, news, and communications records periodically and will issue revisions as necessary.
In most cases, offices responsible for maintaining records (if they are in traditional hardcopy formats) do not have adequate space to store them beyond one or two years. If records must be moved to an off-site storage location, consider the following needs:
Abbreviations and Definitions
Administrative Value —The usefulness of a record in the conduct of the office’s business.
Minimum Retention —The minimum amount of time a particular series of records should be retained prior to disposition.
Permanent —An indefinite retention period; signifies that the records have sufficient value or importance to justify keeping them in perpetuity. Permanent
retention also may be based on legal requirements or demonstrated and justifiable need. Long-term or permanent retention of electronic records requires resources for data migration, ensuring the integrity and trustworthiness of the data, and addressing hardware/software obsolescence. An office should consider the long-term availability of its resources prior to expressing an interest in retaining information permanently. The University
Archives or the Medical Center Archives is the official repository for information with historical or enduring value.
Records—All recorded information, regardless of its physical form or characteristics, created or received pursuant to the transaction of University
business or in the fulfillment of its educational, administrative, business, or legal obligations.
Record Series (or Series)— A group/set of identical or related records, information, or data that are normally used and filed or stored as a logical unit; synonymous with data set.
Top of Page
Primary Heading: Public Affairs, News, and Communications —Records created to document and communicate to the external community the activities and events of the University and its schools, departments, programs, and centers.
|Series Title||Content||Minimum Retention||Notes|
|Advertisements||Advertisements of special events or services||Contact Archives|
|Articles and clippings||News articles or clippings (e.g. Duke In the News, News @ A&S, etc.)||Contact Archives||May be on-line documents|
|Biographical files||Vitae, photographs, profiles or articles about the individual, etc.||Contact Archives||Some may be on-line as "profiles" or "faculty news"|
|Bulletins, newsletters, and publications||Contact Archives||May be on-line documents|
|Experts lists||Superseded or obsolete||May be on-line documents|
|Interviews||Interviews with or about members of the Duke community, including "one-question interviews"||Contact Archives|
|News releases||News releases about Duke's people, programs, or initiatives. May also include tip sheets, media advisories, op-ed articles, etc.||Contact Archives||May be on-line documents|
|Photographs||Photographs of events, people, or activities||Contact Archives||Photographs should identify the person(s) or event
May be on-line as "image banks" or "image gallery"
|Requests for information||Request satisfied and administrative value ends|
|Speeches||Speeches or statements delivered by members of the Duke community||Contact Archives||Includes remarks delivered by guest speakers, if available.|
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