Academic Records Retention

It is the responsibility of Grand Valley State University to establish a policy, and adopt and enforce procedures to protect the confidentiality, accuracy, and privacy of the information it collects on its students. As a way to protect student's confidentiality the Registrar's Office encourages all departments to follow the Academic Records Retention and Disposal Policy when determining what records to keep, how the records should be stored, and when and how they should be disposed of.

Academic Records Retention and Disposal Policy

The Academic Records Retention and Disposal Policy contains recommendations on what items should be retained, how long they should be retained, and by whom they should be retained.

Academic Records Retention and Disposal Policy

Electronic Storage and Data Safety

Network data drives are not encrypted; however, a departmental drive is the most secure method of data storage for sensitive data at GVSU. The most common departmental shared drive is the L: drive. Check "Office DFS" shortcut on your desktop for your authorized network drives. DO NOT store sensitive data on your local hard drive or your personal network drive (N: drive).

For information on the secure storage and purging of electronic files, please visit the Cyber Safety page.

Developing a Process for the Purging of Records

Purging is a process of removing all unwanted, unneeded, or useless data that may be maintained in a file that has lost its value. As noted in the academic records retention and disposal policy, certain documents should be maintained for a limited number of years.  

  • Departments are advised when shredding large numbers of documents to use a company recommended by the university. Please contact purchasing for additional information.
  • Departments must follow policy and process to purge paper and electronic documents on an annual basis based on the retention length.

Example - a department is keeping a master file of all correspondence received by the faculty member from the student. There are two ways to keep this data - either by alpha order or by a yearly order. If alpha order, the department will need to review and purge those documents in the file at the end of every year to weed out those files that are no longer needed (exceeded the five year requirement). If by yearly order, the department will need to purge the data that is more than five years old. In either scenario, if the unnecessary data is not purged periodically , the volume of data becomes unmanageable and increases security risks.

Page last modified August 8, 2017