University Record Retention Schedule

The Policy on Retention and Disposition of University Records states that Northeastern University must retain different types of records for specific periods of time as defined by existing statutes and regulations. The University Record Retention Schedule (“Schedule”) contains a list of these record types and the associated minimum retention periods.

Retaining all records in perpetuity, while an easy way to comply with the Schedule, exposes the university to data breaches by keeping potentially sensitive data longer than is required. Over the last year, Data Administration and the Office of General Counsel worked with the Data Classification Liaisons (DCLs) the contacts for the departments identified in the Schedule to establish minimum and maximum periods of retention for each record type. A column identifying the Data Classification level of the record type was also added to assist departments in determining the safest way to dispose of the records.

Over a dozen meetings were held between the Data Administration team and the DCLs or other individuals to review their records resulting in more than 50% of the records on the Schedule being updated using the valuable feedback received. Not only were the records on the Schedule updated, but the format of the Schedule has changed from PDF to SharePoint, making it more accessible to users.

We recognize that considerable time and effort was put forth by those who were contacted and provided feedback, therefore next steps have been created to ensure the Schedule continues to act as a reliable resource for properly handling data. These steps include, 1) meeting with OGC quarterly to review the Schedule and Process and Procedure for University Record Retention Schedule to discuss any changes that should be implemented, 2) aligning the quarterly review with the DCL Subgroup monthly series to discuss any changes that should be implemented, and 3) contacting other individuals who have records on the Schedule during the same timeframe as the meeting with OGC and the DCL Subgroup to discuss any changes that should be implemented. To conclude, if there are questions regarding the Schedule, please contact the team by sending an email to