Policy on Retention and Disposition of University Records

Policy Number: 704

University Records and Information Systems

The permanent link for this policy is: https://policies.northeastern.edu/policy704/

I. Purpose and Scope


This policy and its implementing procedures will assist the University to meet its obligations under various laws and regulations on the retention of specific records, as well as to optimize the use of storage space and minimize the cost of record retention.

This policy applies to all University records, and to all Northeastern University faculty, administrators, and staff who manage or maintain University records. 

II. Definitions


University Records means the original of any records created or received by Northeastern employees in the course of university business. These records can exist in any form. Records include paper and electronic documents (including e-mail), microforms, audio and video recordings, databases, and emails. Some examples of records include, but are not limited to, contracts, minutes, correspondence, memoranda, financial records, published materials, photographs, sound recordings, video recordings, drawings and maps, and computer data.


Official Repository means the department that has primary responsibility for the specific record. It is designated as having responsibility for retention and timely destruction or transfer to the University Archives of particular types of official University records. Responsibility is assigned to the administrative manager or a designee of the unit that created the record.

III. Policy


Northeastern must retain different types of records for specific periods of time. University records and documents must be adequately maintained until they are no longer needed or are of no value, including historic value, and so may be disposed of at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.


The University has designated official repositories for record maintenance. Departments with the primary responsibility for specific records are designated as official repositories.

IV. Additional Information


The Record Retention Schedule sets forth the retention period for each specific record.  The current Northeastern University Record Retention Schedule can be accessed here (requires a Northeastern username to access).


V. Contact Information

Call the Office of General Counsel, (617) 373-2157, if you have questions about document retention periods on the document retention schedule. If you have any questions about records management and disposition, please contact the Office of General Counsel, Director of Compliance, or Archives and Special Collections Department.

Responsible Office/Department(s)

Office of the General Counsel




Records Retention; Records Storage; Records Management; Records Destruction; Archives; Shredding; Department Files

Version History

Last Revision Date: December 1, 2023

Issued: June 6, 2001