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Archives & Special Collections (ASC)

Records Management: Retention Periods

Information on how and for how long University of Louisville records should be retained.

Determining How Long Records must be Retained

All records--regardless of their physical characteristics--which are made or received in connection with the transaction of UofL business are subject to the retention requirements of the State of Kentucky under KRS 171.410.  These requirements are outlined in the State University Records Retention Schedule, a document that describes the records that the University creates and provides instruction for their retention and ultimate disposal.

Common Records and Their Retention

Most records generated by the University fall under these few, broad categories.  Please consult the State University Records Retention Schedule for a full description:

Record Categories
Series No. Record Type Retention
U0111 Duplicate copies or records not created by your office Destroy when reference value ends
U0120 Research data (sponsored or non-sponsored) Retain until 5 years after submission or publication of the final project report for which the data were collected, whichever is longer, and audit, then destroy. If retention requirements specified in funding agency's regulations are longer, the agency requirements will apply. Also, at the discretion of the university, some data may be retained longer for use in subsequent projects. If records are part of a research misconduct investigation, retain until 7 years after the end of the investigation, then destroy.
U0238 Budget records, department or college copy Retain 5 years, then destroy
U0239 Financial records Retain 3 years or until after audit is completed, then destroy
U0449 Student files, department or college copy Transfer permanent information to the Registrar; retain remaining records for 5 years after graduation or last date of attendance, then destroy
U0620 Personnel files, department or college copy Transfer permanent information to Human Resources; retain remaining records for 5 years after termination of employee, then destroy
U0643 Faculty/course evaluations Retain individual surveys 6 months, then destroy; retain summaries and tabulations 3 years, then destroy
U1800 Grant records, funded* Retain 3 years after the submission of final report, or for awards that are renewed quarterly or annually, 3 years after the date of the submission of the quarterly or annual financial report**
U1801 Grant records, non-funded Destroy when administrative value ends

Note that if any litigation, claim, audit, or other official action has been initiated, you must retain the records involved even if they have met their minimum retention and are eligible to be destroyed under the records retention schedule.

*Includes Sponsored Programs records. 

**If retention requirements specified in funding agency's regulations are longer, the agency requirements will apply.  See also series no. U0120.

Exceptions to the University Records Retention Schedule

The University Archivist has approved three exceptions to the state schedule in order that records may be retained longer:

  • Search records for positions at or above the level of dean (i.e. dean, vice president, provost, president): Retain permanently
  • Records of faculty grievances: Retain permanently* 
  • Records of legislative activity: Retain permanently

*Note: in keeping with University Model Retention Schedule, student grievances should be retained a minimum of 3 years after resolution of the grievance

Records Retention Schedule