Michigan State University

Destruction of Records

The retention schedule determines when records are ready for destruction. When the date of assigned records destruction has come for records held at University Archives & Historical Collections (UAHC), UAHC staff will prepare and send out a request for destruction notice to the unit or office. This notice lists the records scheduled for destruction.

If destruction of these records is authorized by the unit or office, the form should be signed and returned to UAHC. If these records are needed for an ongoing audit, please provide the appropriate details on the form and the destruction will be postponed.

If an office is still using these records for another reason, a letter from the department head explaining the situation is needed. Departments that request retention of records beyond the officially scheduled destruction date for no approved, documented reason will have those records returned for local storage and maintenance.

It is important to understand that a department or unit is responsible for any security breach of confidential or proprietary data stored on this media. Therefore, it is important to follow the retention schedule for all records held in an office or unit. For more information, see Guidelines for Internal and External Reporting of Data System Security Breaches (pdf): Opens in a New Tab.

In-Office Destruction of University Records

Departments and offices may want to destroy records, particularly older documents, without sending them to UAHC storage. However, University Archives approval is required before any destruction can take place.

The UAHC has developed the "In-Office Destruction of University Records" form to document in-office records destruction. This form requires the signature of a department representative and the University Archivist. When you have records that ready to be destroyed in your office, please complete the form and send it on to UAHC for review and signature.

When the form is complete, send it on to UAHC at archives@msu.edu. DO NOT PROCEED WITH RECORDS DESTRUCTION UNTIL YOU RECEIVE ARCHIVES APPROVAL.

UAHC staff will review the form, contact you if there are any questions, sign the form, and send the signed copy back to your office. This process may take 1-3 days. Once you have received a signed form, your office may proceed with records destruction. Please retain a copy of the In-Office Destruction of University Records form in your office and UAHC will also retain a copy of the completed form.

The form is available in word and pdf formats. Instructions for completing the form, including a completed sample form, are also available in pdf format. 

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact the University Archives at 355-2330.