University Record Retention Schedules and Disposition

NOTE: For Public Records Requests contact  Office of Compliance – Lisa Hull  Public Records Custodian

Overview: What is a University Record Retention Schedule?

State agencies like UW-Madison, are statutorily required to provide record schedules for all records not already covered by an existing record schedule. By law, Record Retention Schedules have to be submitted one year after each records series has been received or created. After 10 years, the RDA sunsets, and a new one must be resubmitted for Public Record Board approval. These records retention schedules apply to records in all formats, not just paper records.  This would include records in electronic systems, such as email, records in shared drives, imaging systems, and other electronic repositories.

In Wisconsin State government, the record scheduling process is accomplished by completing an RDA or record schedule which the University Records Officer submits to the Public Record Board (PRB) for approval after getting a legal review and archival review. There are three types of record schedules for the University: general campus-wide, general system-wide, and department/unit specific.

Record Schedules consist of the record policy, record series (which is a group of record types that work and function together and are kept for the same amount of time), a retention time-frame/event, and disposition.

By Wisconsin law university records cannot be disposed of without a valid records schedule.