Printed on September 22, 2019, 2:39 am
Governance, Organization, and General Policies
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office, Board Members
This Policy sets forth the records retention schedule and procedures for disposal of records for the System Office and all institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
Tennessee Public Records Commission Rule Rules of Public Records Commission, 1210-01-.02 Definitions, controls.
- Disposal of Records
- Disposal of records must be approved by the State Public Records Commission (PRC). No records, paper, electronic, or other media may be destroyed unless and until meeting the criteria of this guideline and PRC rules.
- Unless specified otherwise, or otherwise required by law, records may be imaged, microfilmed, or electronically reproduced and the paper copy destroyed upon verification of an archival quality reproduction. The microfilm, image, or electronic record will then be retained for the balance of the indicated retention period.
- No record shall be destroyed, however, so long as it pertains to any pending legal case, claim, or action; or to any federal or state audit until such actions have been concluded.
- State records have been approved for disposal by state-approved methods:
- Purge (paper & electronic)
- Any record designated "confidential" shall be so treated by agencies in the maintenance, storage and disposition of such confidential records. These records shall be destroyed in such a manner that they cannot be read, interpreted or reconstructed.
- Unless specifically approved by the System Office or Institution Records Officer, any records which reflect "Permanent" retention should be maintained by means other than paper after verification of an archival quality electronic reproduction. After verification, the paper copies will be destroyed.
- Actions by the State Commission shall be communicated to all campus Records Officers through the System Office.
- Records Officers
- Records Officers have the authority and responsibility to retain and dispose of records in accordance with approved records disposition authorizations.
- Prior to the destruction of any records, the Records Officer must determine if the action should be delayed due to audit or litigation requirements.
- Specific records pertaining to current or pending litigation or investigation must be retained until all questions are resolved. These specific records can be retained in a suspense file, while all other records not under pending investigation shall be disposed of in accordance with established Statewide and TBR Records Disposition Authorizations (RDAs).
- Records Officers should establish and apply retention schedules for records in their custody that may not be specifically addressed in this guideline.
- Certificate of Destruction
- Records Management Division has authorized the implementation and utilization of the Certificate of Destruction Form in order to better track the volume of records destroyed and to insure that records have met the criteria necessary for destruction.
- Certificate of Destruction forms must be used when destroying public or confidential records that are not destroyed during the annual Operation Roundfile campaign – an initiative through Executive Order 38 to purge out-of-date documents and/or records on an annual basis. (Exhibit 1)
- Certificates shall be held at the institution.
- Records Retention Schedules
- The Tennessee Board of Regents adheres to Statewide, College/University Statewide, other agency (where appropriate) and TBR Records Destruction Authorization (RDA) classifications.
- Notwithstanding the retention period stated herein, should such periods conflict with federal or state law or regulation, the period of longer retention shall apply.
- Access the appropriate retention schedule by clicking on the RDA number in Sections V. and VI. below.
- Higher Education Records RDAs
- SW-U01: College/University Boards, Commissions, and College/System Chief Executive Documents – Records include but not limited to: documents or records related to meetings of Boards, Commissions, Councils, and Committees. Documents relating to the System/College Chief Executive in the transaction of the official business. Examples: Official correspondence, memorandums, final reports, official policies, current & obsolete directives, minutes/accounts of proceedings, agenda, copies of reports, and announcements.
1. For purposes of this RDA, records include official business of the Chancellor and all institution presidents, or anyone designated as an “Interim” for these positions. Retention: Permanent, Do Not Destroy
- SW-U02: Student Education Record (College/University Statewide) – These files contain the official academic record of students attending State institutions. They include, but are not limited to Academic Records (includes Narrative Evaluations, Competency Assessments), Change of Grade Records; Financial Aid Transcripts (if applicable), Class Lists (original grade sheets or cards), Graduation Lists, transcripts, Permanent Student Cards, Statistical Data (enrollment, grades, racial/ethnic, degree), Commencement Program (1 copy), Student Disciplinary Files resulting in expulsion. Retention: Permanent, Do Not Destroy
- Student FERPA rights and defining Education Records is contained in 20 USC 1232g: FERPA Rights
- SW-U03: Alumni Development Files/Donor Gifts and Contributions/Endowment and Living Trust Agreements (College/University Statewide) – Current and Historical Data Including (1) Alumni Development Files: alumni information, solicitation, pledge and contributions data, and all related documents. (2) Donor Gifts and Contributions: Donor Recognition Committee, Donor Director of Private Giving, Fund Raising Report, Philanthropy Awards, and all related documents. (3) Endowment and Living Trust Agreements, and all related documents. Retention: Permanent, Do Not Destroy
- SW-U04: Student National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and Academic Second Opportunity Records (College/University Statewide) – These records include, but is not limited to Athletic files including NCAA eligibility and related files, and Academic second opportunity applications.
- For purposes of this RDA, NCAA also includes records related to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Retention: 10 yrs; End Action: Destroy
- SW-U05: Trademark, Copyright, Patent Records, Printed Materials and Publications (College/University Statewide) – These records include, but are not limited to Trademark, Copyright and Patent records, including correspondence, forms, documents and materials relating to application for and granting of same. Printed Materials and Publications which have permanent administrative, physical, historical or legal value, such as; class schedules (institutional), institution catalogs, brochures, etc. Retention: Permanent, Do Not Destroy
- SW-U06: Student Information Records (College/University Statewide) – Records that are not protected as part of the Student Education Record (Statewide RDA SW-U02). These records include, but are not limited to individual office or department files, graduation authorizations, accepted applications for admission or readmission, credit by exam forms, placement records, student ledger cards/registration system receipts, tuition and fee charges, athletic department files, campus health clinic records. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW-U07: College University Research Records (College/University Statewide) – Records pertaining to research conducted at an academic institution, including records created over the course of a research project, steps taken, and results. This series includes, but is not limited to: correspondence, project descriptions, final reports or deliverables, data, and related documentation and correspondence. Retention: 10 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW-U08: College/University Real Property Files – Facility files that include: deeds, leases, capital agreements, and other historical property documents. Retention: Permanent, Do Not Destroy
- SW-U09: College/University Personnel Records – Personnel Records of college employees. Files are comprised of official personnel files for each employee. At a minimum, these files contain documentation of the employee’s payroll history with the department. Retention: 65 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW-U10: Student Admissions Applications – Denied, Cancelled, Admitted Non-Enrolled – This records series consists of application records for admission into the University/College undergraduate or graduate degree program. Records include, but are not limited to: documents or records related to student application for Admission. Examples: application, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, personal statements, medical records, high school and college transcripts, appeals, and other supporting documentation. Applications for students who do enroll should be kept for 5 years as part of SW-U06: Student Information Records. Retention: 1 yr.; End Action: Destroy
- SW-U11: Applications for Scholarship Files – Not Selected – This record series governs non-selected applications by students for academic or merit based scholarships. Record series includes, but is not limited to: application and supporting documentation, notification letter, type of scholarship requested, amount, appeals, and other specific requirements determined by the scholarship funding agent. This RDA covers non-selected applications only. Retention: 1 yr.; End Action: Destroy
- SW-U12: Applications for Scholarship Files – Selected – This record series governs selected applications by students for academic and/or merit based scholarships. Record series includes, but is not limited to: application and supporting documentation, notification letter, type of scholarship awarded, amount, appeals, and other specific requirements determined by the scholarship funding agent. This RDA covers selected applications only. Retention: 5 years: End Action: Destroy
- SW-U13: Student Medical Records (College/University Statewide) - Documents relating to Student medical records, Student health form, Immunization History, Meningitis form, Hepatitis form, Allergy Injection form, Health disclosure, etc. Retention: 10 years; End Action: Destroy
- SW-U14: Child Care Facility Records - Records documenting the child care facility. Records include but not limited to: Visit reports, license renewal documents, license certificates, inspection reports, immunization inspection reports, fire safety reports, meal reports, program improvement plans, playground and meal supervisory plans, observation reports, etc. Retention: 5 years; End Action: Destroy
- Student Records
- The Family Educational rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA)(see Section VI.B.1.) specifically requires institutions to maintain records of requests and disclosures of personally identifiable information except for defined “directory information” and requests from students to review their own records.
- The records of disclosures and requests for disclosures are considered part of the students’ educational records; therefore, these records must be retained as long as the education records to which they refer are retained by the institution.
- FERPA requires that no record for which there is a pending request to review be destroyed.
- Student Miscellaneous Records: Records in this category are covered under SW16 Temporary Records. These records include, but are not limited to;
- All records of applicants who do not enter an institution;
- The following records of applicants who enter an institution;
- Grade Reports (Registrar’s copies)
- Registration Forms
- Social Security Certificates
- Teacher Certifications (Institution only)
- Transcript Requests (student)
- Audit Authorizations
- Pass/Fail Requests
- Changes of Course (add/drop)
- Credit/No Credit Approvals
- Enrollment Verifications (logs or lists)
- Applications for Graduation
- Academic Advisor Files
- Class Schedules (student)
- Personal Data Information Forms
- Letters of Recommendation
- Student Disciplinary Files (for matters resulting in a finding of no violations(s) Retention: 0 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- Statewide RDAs
- SW01: Accounting Journal Vouchers & Deposit Slips - Documents relating to Accounts Receivables and Deposits with Supporting Documentation. EXAMPLES: AG – Agency Only Approval Journals, AL – Allocation Process, AM ‐ Assets Management, AP ‐ Accounts Payable, AR ‐ Accounts Receivable, BA ‐ Balances from STARS, BI ‐ Billing, CL ‐ Closing Process, CM ‐ Cash Management, CN ‐ Contracts, DA ‐ Division of Accounts Approval, EX ‐ External Application, FM ‐ Fleet Management, GM ‐ Grants, IN ‐ Inventory, IU ‐ Inter‐Unit Transaction, JV ‐ Online Journal Voucher, KK ‐ Commitment Control Journals, LA ‐ Accrued Liabilities, LM ‐ Enterprise Learning Management, MU ‐ Multi‐Unit Transactions, PM ‐ Plant Management, PR ‐ Project Closing, PY ‐ Payroll, RA Accrued Revenue, RV ‐ PS exp to STARS, TR ‐ Transactions from STARS, TV ‐ Travel (Expenses), YA ‐ Year End Adjustments This RDA is not applicable for the Division of Accounts, Dept. of Finance and Administration. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW02: Accounting Reports - Documents relating to monthly accounting reports. This series also includes Accounting Reports from Edison, Banner, or the STARS System. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW03: Inactive Human Resources Employee Documentation - Documents pertaining to the proof of eligibility to work. Included in this record series is human resource documentation kept in agency. Examples: Cards or sheets showing name, address, telephone number, and similar data for each office employee; printouts. Records covered under SW-U09 University Personnel Records shall not be destroyed under this RDA. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW04: Employee Medical Records - Documents relating to confidential employee medical records. Examples: Documentation of physicals and health status, Alcoholics Anonymous treatment statement, drug related treatment, injured in the line of duty and workers' compensation claims. Retention: 30 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW07: Travel Authorization Files - Documents relating to requests and authorizations for in‐state and out‐of‐state travel and related correspondence, including cost estimates for travel. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW09: Attendance and Leave Records - Documents relating to attendance and leave, including correspondence such as notice of holidays and hours worked. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW10: Real Property Lease Files - Documents relating to the lease space in which various state agencies and departments are housed. Examples: Space Action Request Form (FA‐0006), Request for Proposal (RFP), and related correspondence. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW11: Internal Audit Reports and Working Papers - Documents relating to internal audit reports and working papers generated by internal auditors to document investigations and/or audit reports conducted internally that are submitted to the commissioners, the Comptroller of the Treasury, and other parties. This RDA is not applicable to the Comptroller of the Treasury and its divisional offices. Retention: 10 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW12: Contracts & Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) - Documents relating to contracts between state agencies and vendors. Records includes a copy of the final contract, Requests for Proposals (RFP)documents, Requests for Information (RFI) documents, bid evaluation documents, statements of work, deliverable documentation, change order documentation, correspondence, and other related documents. Retention: 6 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW14: Discrimination Harassment Investigation Files - Documents relating to discrimination and workplace harassment investigations. Examples: investigation intake/referral, investigation memos, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charges/documents, Tennessee Human Rights Commission charges/documents. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW15: Annual Report Working Papers - Working Paper documents relating to the annual reports prepared by all agencies. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW16: Temporary Records - "Temporary Records", is defined at T.C.A § 10‐7‐301 (13) as: "material which can be disposed of in a short period of time as being without value in documenting the function of an agency. Temporary records will be scheduled for disposal by requesting approval from the public records commission [PRC] utilizing a records disposition authorization [RDA]." These records are only considered records in that they are notes and/or communication media and may include correspondence below the Commissioner level, unless superseded by another RDA. Under no circumstance will documents of Fiscal, Legal, or Historic Value be considered Temporary Records. Retention: 0 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW17: Working Papers - "Working Papers" is defined in T.C.A. § 10‐7‐301(14) as: "those records created to serve as input for final reporting documents, including electronic data processed records, and/or computer output microfilm, and those records which become obsolete immediately after agency use or publication." Working papers are used to produce a record in its final form. For the purpose of the RDA, working papers are those records that have no evidential or informational value once an action has been completed and do not relate to significant steps taken in preparing the final record. The record resulting from the working papers are then governed by its RDA. Working papers does not include records that have evidential or informational value that is needed to support the final record. Under no circumstance may documents of Fiscal, Legal, or Historic Value be considered Working Papers. This RDA does not apply to Annual Report (SA15), Budget (SW18), or Internal Audit (SW11) working papers. This RDA covers all other working papers unless superseded by another specific RDA. Retention: 1 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW18: Budget Papers - Documents relating to budget working papers and budget requests. The records are documents used to assist the agency in the preparation of budgets and to justify requests to the Department of Finance and Administration as well as copies of official budget requests submitted to the Department of Finance and Administration for recommendations to be presented for final approval. Records include correspondence, instructions, tabulations, reports, cost estimates, budget request forms, program objectives, strategies, budget revisions and other related documents. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW20: Fiscal Administrative Documents - Files may include documents of Fiscal Value not covered by another Statewide RDA or Agency Specific RDA. (Examples: receipt documents, invoices, purchase orders, inventory records, payment documentation, space assignment documentation, warranties, internal bookkeeping documentation, & balance sheets) Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW21: Grants - This RDA may apply to any Grant Files not covered by a specific RDA. Files included in this record series may include any documents pertaining to grants, such as applications, Contracts, Invoices, Asset Documentation, Monitoring Documentation, Evaluations, Photographs, Reports, Close‐out Documents and Correspondence. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW22: Internal Policies and Procedures - Official record copy of the policies, procedures or rules. One copy of the policy, procedure, or rule will be kept by the issuing entity for retention/reference. Records series will include interim policies, procedures, and rules as well. Retention: 10 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW23: Credit Card and Purchasing Card (p-Card) Documents - Documents relating to the issuing and use of state issued credit cards and Purchasing cards (p‐ Cards). Records series includes: new card application, cardholder agreement form, approver signed agreement form, account maintenance forms, training tests, Edison security form, transaction logs, exception logs, fiscal officer's memos, account statements, and receipts. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW24: Hazardous Material Files – Documentation of hazardous materials purchased, shipped, stored, or utilized by state agencies. Documents may include: inventories, shipping papers, safety documentation, utilization logs/registers, Federal or state compliance documentation (EPA, OSHA, TDEC, etc.), disposal documentation, and correspondence. Training documentation shall be stored with and covered by RDA SW-U09. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW25: Administrative Documents – Internal Policies and Procedures - Documents that relate to the day‐to‐day administration of internal policies, procedures, and rules. Record series includes, but not limited to: employee agreement forms, security forms, databases, frequently asked questions, and related forms. (This does not include the official record copy of the policies, procedures or rules which is covered by SW22.) Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW26: Incident Reports - Records of incidents/accidents occurring on State controlled property, involving state personnel or members of the general public or state owned materials. A copy of the incident reports involving injuries to state employees are to be included in the employee’s medical file and covered under SW04 Employee Medical Records. Retention: 10 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW27: Request for Proposal Documents – Not Selected - Final submitted bid documents that were not awarded the contract. These fall under three (3) categories: Unsuccessful – bids met criteria but were not the best bid; Non-responsive – bids that did not follow directions and thus disqualified; and Rejected – bids that were not submitted by the set deadline for submission. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW28: Employment Application – Not Selected Candidates - Application documents, hiring information, job registers, and resumes of candidates that were not selected for the position. Records include applications for full-time, part-time, temporary, and unpaid, such as internships. These fall under three (3) categories: Unsuccessful – applicant met criteria but were not hired; Non-responsive – applicants that did not submit required material or respond back to attempted communication; and Rejected – applications that were not submitted by the set deadline for submission or failed to meet minimum requirements. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW29: Affirmative Action Compliance Records - Affirmative Action Program records and any supporting documentation related to recruitment, selection, and advancement of employees that may be used to show compliance with federal Affirmative Action rules and regulations. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW30: Internal Investigation Files – Records of investigation resulting from a complaint from the public and/or internally against an employee of the state (TBR and its institutions). Records include but are not limited to: Correspondence, photographs, interviews, criminal report, medical files, state employee’s files, decisions, orders or disciplinary actions and any collateral documentation received for the investigation. Retention: 10 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW31: Communication Databases – Databases used for the collection of information to facilitate in communication and correspondence with the public. Includes spreadsheets/lists in paper format if an agency utilizes instead of electronic. Examples may include mailing lists for magazine or newsletter subscriptions, communication tracking systems, requests for publications, and agency/news updates. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW32: Accreditation Records – Documents the accreditation process relating to an agency’s program or programs as required by federal or state statute, or other body. Includes background support materials, accrediting agency correspondence, guidelines, reports, procedures, and accreditation review reports and responses. Retention: 10 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW33: Volunteer Forms and Unpaid Intern Records – Volunteer and intern screening documents and background check data. Records include but not limited to; Applications submitted by individuals volunteering and interning for the State, consent forms, background check information (verification of Social Security number, verification of Driver’s License, Criminal History Records, etc.), liability forms, training records, training completion, disciplinary action, performance evaluation, etc. These records include only applicants accepted. Retention: 30 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW34: Recordings from Law Enforcement Mobile Devices – Incident Not Identified – Recordings, created by a law enforcement agency using mobile devices, that are not know to have captured a unique or unusual action from which litigation or criminal prosecution is expected to likely to result. Records included but not limited to all mobile recordings, regardless of where recording device is mounted, such as: Bodycam (device on officer’s chest, shoulder, head, etc.), Dashcam (or other device mounted on the inside or outside of a vehicle), Animal cam (on an animal’s body), Drone (unmanned aerial vehicle or any other remote controlled equipment). These records are only for recordings where no incident is identified; recordings where an incident is identified will be superseded by the agency’s investigative RDA or Statewide 30: Internal Investigation Files, and shall not be destroyed under this Statewide. Retention: 3 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW35: Open Records Request – Record Series Consists of correspondence with the public regarding requests to view or retrieve information from official records. Records include but are not limited to emails, letters, and attachments. Note: the records requested are not covered by this RDA, but are to be governed by the appropriate original RDA for the requested records. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW36: Original Captured Media – Finished products of video, audio and digital images captured and produced of official agency business created and used by the employees of the agency. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW37: Temporary Captured Media – Temporary Records is defined at T.C.A. § 10- 7-301(13) as: material which can de disposed of in a short period of time as being without value in documenting the function of an agency. Temporary records will be scheduled for disposal by the requesting approval from the public records commission [PRC] utilizing a records disposition authorization [RDA]. Video, audio and still photography captured and produced by agency employees for the use of the agency and which do not meet quality standards (blurry, out of focus, etc.) are temporary and to be removed at the discretion of the creator and/or staff. Any media that is not disposed of will be covered under SW36. Retention: 0 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW39: Title VI Annual Report - Agency copy of Annual Reports and supporting documentation submitted to the Federal Government or TN Human Rights Commission. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW40: Rule Promulgation File – Records of voting on policy or rule adoption. The official files of the final promulgated rules: signed copies going to the Attorney General and Secretary of State response to public comments; any signed roll-call votes approving the rules, etc. Retention: Permanent, Do Not Destroy
- SW41: Fraud Investigation Files – Documents of the investigations that are undertaken based on complaints or referrals received involving, but not limited to, alleged non-profit fraud, license fraud, medical fraud, and the abuse of state funded benefits. Records include, but are not limited to, research investigation notes, correspondence, files relative to investigation, and any pertinent law enforcement data. Confidential investigation shall be kept under agency specific RDA. Retention: 10 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
- SW42: Unsuccessful Grant Applications – Records of proposals that have been denied funding or for which no award decision has been made by the funding state agency. Series includes, but is not limited to, proposal for grant, correspondence, notes, project/planning files, grant evaluation summaries, letters of denial, and other related documentation. Retention: 5 yrs.; End Action: Destroy
T.C.A. § 49-8-203; Rules of Secretary of State, Records Management Division, Executive Order #38.
November 15, 1983 SBR Presidents Meeting; Revised July 1, 1984; Revised July 1, 1985; Revised September 1, 1986; Approved May 14, 1991, Presidents Meeting and implemented August 6, 1993 after approval by State Records Commission; May 5, 1998, Presidents Meeting; May 21, 2002 Presidents Meeting; May 16, 2006 Presidents Meeting; Renamed and revised at Presidents Meeting August 18, 2015. Records Commission RDA approval, June 2016. Revision approved at Presidents Meeting February 21, 2017; Revised at Presidents Meeting May 16, 2017; Revised at Presidents Meeting November 14, 2017; Revised June 22, 2018. May, 2019 Ministerial changes (put SW-U RDAs in Section V. and SW RDAs in Section VI. Clarified retention for permanent records). June 11, 2019 Ministerial revision; added RDA SW-U14 Child Care Facility Records