Policies & Procedures


Section 1

Business and Financial Affairs

Records Management

Sec. 721-10: Records Management Guidelines

Responsible Office: Office of the CFO/Vice Chancellor, Division of Finance & Administration
Revised: January 2023

References / Resources

Contact: Records Management Coordinator at (949) 824-3454

A. Purpose and Scope

The UCI’s records management program ensures that systems are in place to document the operation of the campus and to support its administrative, financial, legal and historical needs. The University of California’s Records Management Program (RMP) governs the maintenance and disposal of administrative records. All records are owned by the Regents of the University of California. All employees responsible for University administrative records are responsible for knowing and following the laws and University policies and guidelines that govern those records.

Administrative records are most often created in electronic business systems, word processing or spreadsheet software, or email messaging, but they can be created in any format regardless of media (i.e. paper, electronic, audio file, etc.) All formats are covered by the UC RMP.

B. Definitions

Administrative Record: Administrative records are any record that documents or contains valuable information related to the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other business activities of the university. They include any material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or maintained by an operating unit or employee of the university.
Non-records: Non-records are materials of immediate value only. They are not required to be retained and therefore do not appear on any records retention schedule. Non-records are not managed under the University’s Records Management Program; they are disposed of once their period of immediate usefulness has passed. Non-records may share some characteristics with administrative records; however, they are distinguished from administrative records by their transitory usefulness. Some examples of non-records are: envelopes, routing slips, rough drafts, and duplicate copies of administrative records.
Personnel Records: Any record, in any format, necessary and relevant to the administration of the staff personnel program.
Records Custodian: The individual with responsibility for maintenance of the records of a university department or unit.
Records Proprietor: The individual with management responsibility for the records associated with a university administrative function.

C. Authorities and Responsibilities

Employees whose job functions include responsibility for administrative records are responsible for knowing and following the laws and University policies which govern those records.

Campus Records Management Coordinator

UCI's Records Management Coordinator is responsible for the development, coordination, implementation, and management of the RMP and:

    1. Represents UCI's interest on the systemwide Records Management Committee.

    2. Provides advice, information, and training, as necessary, regarding records management.

    3. Coordinates campus review of proposed additions, deletions, and revision to the retention schedules.

    4. Coordinates systemwide review of requests to establish or modify retention schedules for records unique to UCI

    5. Coordinates requests for exceptions to the existing systemwide retention schedules in the event that UCI prefers to retain records for a longer period of time than specified in the schedule.ff

Records Proprietor

The Records Proprietor is normally the head of a department responsible for administering a business process. Consistent with sound business practices, university policy, and applicable law, the Proprietor:

    1. Determines which records will be created, gathered, and maintained to attain the goals and meet the fiscal and legal obligations of the operational. Previously referred to as the "Office of Record," the Records Proprietor determines which records will be created, gathered, and maintained.

    2. Identifies vital records and, in conjunction with the Records Custodian, establishes necessary procedures for their protection.

Records Custodian

The manager of a university department or unit (e.g., central records, electronic information systems department) that has been designated by the Records Proprietor to maintain the records shall serve as the Records Custodian. The Custodian is responsible for complying with University Records Management Program guidelines.

University Archivist

The University Archivist is responsible for the preservation of UCI's administrative records that deal with the history of the university. The University Archivist collects, preserves, administers, and provides access to records of enduring value, concentrating on records documenting the university's decision making process ane the essential cultural history of UCI.

Departments are responsible for:

  1. Maintaining University records consistent with sound business practices, University policy, and applicable law.

  2. Appraising records in their custody to determine if the records have administrative, legal, fiscal or historical value. The University Archivist can provide guidance regarding the archival value of a record (see Section 721-12, Archives).

  3. Disposing of records in accordance with published disposition schedules.

The office of the Record Proprietor may or may not have custody of the records associated with the function. The Proprietor may entrust the records to Record Custodians or may choose to have the records maintained by non-university records service providers. The Proprietor shall ensure that the records, whether kept or entrusted to another unit or provider, are maintained consistent with the University Records Management Program, including their ultimate disposition (i.e., transfer to University Archives or disposal). When the maintenance of administrative records is contracted to a non-university provider, the Proprietor shall ensure that the business contract requires the service provider to meet all university record requirements.

D. Retention and Disposal

UC Records Retention Schedule

The University of California Records Retention Schedule defines which records must be retained and for what period of time. A systemwide committee reviews and approves the retention and destruction timelines in consultation with Office of the General Counsel.

Except as superseded by federal laws and regulations and university contracts, the schedule applies to all administrative records, regardless of medium. The program does not apply to:

  • Administrative records held by the Principal Officers of The Regents

  • Teaching and research records (e.g., library materials, faculty research and teaching materials, student examinations)

  • Records pertaining to individual patient care (medical records)

Non- records are materials that are of immediate value only. Non-records are not managed under the University's Records Management Program, and thus they are disposed of once their period of immediate usefulness has passed.


Paper Records: Generally, paper records may be recycled once their retention period has passed. Records containing personal and confidential information, including protected health information, must be securely shred. Information on the preferred shredding vendors can be found on UCI’s Records Management site.

Electronic Records: When electronic records have reached the required disposal date, the data or documents must be permanently purged or deleted. The Office of Information Technology can be consulted guidance.