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USC Retention Schedules

Campus Auxiliary and Support Services

What is Records Management?

It is a management plan for the creation, organization, use, retention, disposal, and selective preservation of records. It ensures that information is available when and where it is needed at minimum cost. 


Why Records Management?

The South Carolina Public Records Act of 1973, as amended, requires government agencies to work with the S.C. Department of Archives and History in establishing and maintaining an active continuing program for the storage, retention, disposal, selective preservation and permanent retention of records. Besides the legal considerations, there are other benefits to a records management program, including:
  • efficient use of office space and equipment;
  • quick and easy information retrieval;
  • protection and preservation of permanent, confidential and vital records;
  • proper documentation of the disposition of records that may be required for audits, investigations, or lawsuits.
The University Archivist assesses the office's records management needs, inventories records, identifies vital and archival records, and establishes authorized retention and disposition schedules. 

What is a Record?

The law defines a record as any documentary material made or received by an agency (except library books and museum artifacts), regardless of physical form or characteristics, including paper, microform, computer tape or disk, map, photograph, film, sound recording, and so forth. 

Retention Schedules

A retention schedule is a legal document that states the length of time a record must be kept. The records 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. The University Archivist recommends each office retain its informational copies of administrative records (i.e., pink copies of IDT's, photocopies of Purchase Orders) for 3 years, in order to satisfy any applicable audit requirements or other questions that may arise. At the end of each fiscal year, each department may screen their files for informational/duplicate records three years old or older, and make arrangements for their destruction with the Archives.

USC Retention Schedules for Academic and Administrative Departments