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700.2 - Record Retention, Disposition and Security

University Group Policy #700.2

I.  Policy Statement

Unless otherwise specifically excluded by the law, the records of Winston-Salem State University are public records as defined in North Carolina General Statute Chapters 121 and 132. All University departments and offices must conform to the applicable State and Federal laws regarding the retention, disposition and security of University records.

II.    Guidelines

Restriction on the Disposal of Records

University public records may not be destroyed, sold, loaned or otherwise disposed of except with the consent of the Department of Cultural Resources or any record retention schedule adopted by The University of North Carolina and by reference by Winston-Salem State University.

The Records Retention and Disposition Schedule

The Records Retention and Disposition Schedule at Winston-Salem State University will comply with the UNC General Records, Retention and Disposition Schedule. The schedule identifies retention requirements according to applicable Federal or State law for the document classification.

Electronic Mail as a Public Record

Electronic mail (e-mail), unless personal in nature, that contains information of value or is evidence of the administration, management, operations, activities and business of an office, is a public record. Similar to paper records, E-mail has administrative, legal, reference, and/or archival values and may not be disposed of, erased, or destroyed without specific guidance. Accordingly, departments that use e-mail should normally retain or destroy e-mail by following the provisions of the UNC Records Retention and Disposition Schedule

The Security of University Records

Winston-Salem State University must protect its confidential and sensitive information against accidental or unauthorized access, modifications, disclosures, or destruction. Campus department administrators are responsible for ensuring that their offices have policies in place that maintain the confidentiality of such sensitive or confidential records. Administrators and staff should regularly review these policies and evaluate their practices as they create new categories of information and as they develop new formats for established categories. Department administrators and the IT Department will work together on compliance with IT security policies as related to electronic records and systems.

Exclusion from this Policy

  1. Papers of individual faculty members and postdoctoral fellows considered the property of the faculty member or postdoctoral fellow and not the University. These papers may include non-University sponsored research, participation in professional organizations, and consultant work.
  2. Records of organizations closely affiliated with, but not formally a part of the University. These organizations include: the S. G. Atkins Community Development Corp., the WSSU National Alumni Association, and other future-developed affiliated entities.
  3. Records of criminal investigations, certain property information, certain geographical information systems, certain business relocation/expansion records, certain tax information, and certain attorney-client communications that are not public records or receive special treatment pursuant to law.

Access to UNC Approved Record Retention Schedule

Reference should be made to the complete UNC General Record Retention and Disposition Schedule.

If the record is not part of the schedule, the approval to dispose of the record is required by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

III.     Applicability

This policy applies to all documents that meet the definition of a public record as defined by North Carolina General Statute Chapters 121 and 132 and that have been created by the University or acquired by the University, including but not limited to: all manual documents, electronic transmissions including e-mails, palm pilot, faxes or other documents contained on any University computer or any employee’s home computer that would meet the definition of a public record.

Responsible Division: Information Technology

Authority: Board of Trustees


  • Adopted December 12, 2008

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