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Frequently Asked Questions

1. I have a lot of records in my office, and I’m running out of storage space. Can I go ahead and dispose of the records?

Before disposing records, first contact the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Analysis (IRA&A) to find out if the records in question have a records retention schedule. A retention schedule details the records and specifies how long the University is required to keep them. If no schedule exists for these records, a specific retention schedule will need to be developed. Please remember that all public records created at Coastal Carolina University are disposed of in accordance with the "General Records Retention Schedules for State Colleges and Universities."

2. Do retention schedules apply to copies of documents – for instance, those forwarded as correspondence, or duplicated for reference?

The retention schedules apply only to the official copies of the University's records. They do not apply to convenience, informational, or duplicate copies, which may be destroyed when no longer needed for reference.

3. If IRA&A gives me the authorization to destroy documents, do I need to submit any forms to the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Records Management Division?

No. Once you are given proper authorization to dispose of documents, the Institutional Research office will send the completed "Report on Records Destroyed” form on your behalf.

4. Where can I find a copy of the "General Records Retention Schedules for State Colleges and Universities"?

You may view a PDF version of these schedules online at the S.C. Department of Archives and History site:

General Records Retention Schedules for State Colleges and Universities

 

5. The South Carolina Department of Archives and History lists two types of schedules: general and specific. What’s the difference?

General retention schedules apply to records common to all University Departments. Specific retention schedules apply to records that are not listed in the general retention schedule. The University generates the specific retention schedule for those records with approval from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

6. My department has both paper and electronic copies of the same documents; will there be different retention schedules for each?

If a department maintains records in two different formats (in this case, paper and electronic), it will have to decide which is the official copy for the department and the university, and which is the reference copy. Only the official copy is covered under the general retention schedule. No reporting is necessary if the reference copy is destroyed before the retention period is met.  However, if both record types are kept through the scheduled retention period, both record types must be destroyed at the same time.

7. If I don’t need separate retention schedules for my corresponding paper and electronic files, do I still need to draw reference to the electronic files (for purposes of correspondence, etc.)?

If you are maintaining both paper documents and electronic documents of the same records series, you should establish, in writing, the correlation between the two. You should give each the same names to allow for easy cross-referencing.

8. Our department has a shortage of storage space, so we’ve started keeping all our new files on computer disks only. Is there a special protocol we should follow for records management?

Electronic records must also follow the "General Records Retention Schedules for State Colleges and Universities."  If these records are not included within that schedule, a specific retention schedule will need to be created.  In addition, office procedures must include the maintenance of the documents on the electronic storage medium used for the duration of the scheduled retention period.