Procedure Information

PDF Version

Number: 5.32.1

Name: Records Retention Procedure

Author: Policy Committee

Effective Date: March 28, 2019

Next Review Date: Fall 2023

Regulatory Authority:

Part 1. Records Retention Schedule

The North Hennepin Community College Records Retention Schedule is housed with data privacy records. This document describes categories of records, the means for records storage, the length of time records should be kept, and instructions for records destruction. State or federal law may determine the period that certain records must be kept, though records may be kept longer than the retention schedule.

Certain units or offices within the College may find that there are professional standards dictating best practices for records retention. For example, the Records and Registration Office will adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in determining access to records and the format for keeping records. The Financial Aid Office will be bound by federal laws related to student financial aid. The North Hennepin Community College Records Retention Schedule incorporates the requirements of various laws as they apply to general categories of records.

Part 2. Records Custodians

Everyone who creates records is responsible for managing those records while they are using them. Maintaining records in a safe, secure, and retrievable way is the primary responsibility of the creator while the record is serving its useful purpose.

Subpart A. Designated Records Custodians

All records of the College have a designated Records Custodian. The designated Records Custodians for North Hennepin Community College are:

  1. Academic Affairs Data – Provost
  2. Financial and Facilities Data – Vice President of Finance and Facilities
  3. Human Resources Data – Chief Human Resources Officer
  4. Student Affairs and Student Services Data – Vice President of Student Success
  5. Additional Custodians (i.e. College Historian, College Archivist)- Designated employee at the discretion of the President or Provost, in consultation with relevant collective bargaining units.

Subpart B. Records Custodian Responsibilities

Records Custodians are responsible for:

  1. Ensuring record storage is secure and under conditions that will preserve the record.
  2. Understanding the records created within the department, administrative office, or unit.
  3. Following this policy and procedure to make decisions on retention and destruction of records.
  4. Providing guidance to others who are involved in preparing records for storage.
  5. Being responsible for ensuring that everyone in the department, administrative office, or unit is aware of and following the records retention policy and procedure.
  6. Consulting with College employees on matters related to record retention, destruction of records, and items of possible historical value.
  7. Establishing the level of confidentiality and security appropriate to specific types of records and helping the department or unit maintain and monitor confidentiality and security.

Part 3. Records Storage

Subpart A. Tangible Records

Tangible records are those that must be physically moved to store, such as paper records (including printed versions of electronically saved documents), photographs, audio recordings, advertisements, and promotional items. Active records, records that need to be easily accessible, and inactive records may be stored in the College’s office space or equipment. Records may also be stored in storage areas around campus or in secure offsite storage locations.

Subpart B. Electronic Records

Many records are created and maintained in an electronic format. These include documents on computer hard drives, email and its attachments, and documents that have been scanned and reside in electronic document storage systems or on other removable storage media. File maintenance of these records requires coordination with the Academic & Technology Services department.

Any electronic record that needs to be kept for a retention period longer than seven (7) years should be printed and kept in a paper filing system OR maintained in an electronic format and the equipment needed to read or access the information kept and maintained for the same period of time. Records that are maintained only in electronic format should be named and labeled in a manner that is consistent with the paper filing system used in the office for ease of coordination and cross-referencing. Electronic documentation should be backed up in a separate location each semester. An electronic file that has permanent value to the College should be printed and transferred to the relevant custodian(s).

Part 4. Accessing Records

Individuals seeking access to College records should contact the appropriate designated Records Custodian listed above. All applicable state and federal laws, as well as Minnesota State Board and College policies will be considered when determining what records may be made available to College employees and the public. Refer to College Policy 2.21 and Procedure 2.21.1, Privacy of Educational Records at for more information.

Part 5. Records Destruction

Subpart A. Tangible Records

Tangible records should be destroyed by shredding or some other means that will render them unreadable. Tangible records also include physical discs, flash drives, or other media that contain electronic records. Consult the Records Retention Schedule or a designated Records Custodian for how to destroy tangible records.

Subpart B. Electronic Records

Electronic records must be destroyed according to the Records Retention Schedule. Where duplicate records are involved, all copies must be destroyed or deleted.

Subpart C. Cessation of Record Destruction/Deletion

If a lawsuit is filed or imminent, or a legal document request has been made upon the College, all record destruction must cease immediately. The College President or one of the designated Records Custodians may suspend this policy and procedure to require that documents relating to the lawsuit or potential legal issue(s) be retained and organized. Failure to follow this protocol could subject College to fines and penalties, among other sanctions.

Part 6. College Archives

The College Archives, under the direction of the relevant custodian(s), is the depository for non-current institutional records that contain enduring and significant historical or research value. A minimum of two copies of every publication issued by the College should be forwarded to the archives. The Archives also solicits and accepts donations of professional and personal papers of faculty and staff, records of student organizations, and other relevant material.

Subpart A. Archive Items

Examples of items that can be forwarded to the College Archives include, but are not limited to:

  1. Administrative Correspondence
  2. Alumni Biographical Information
  3. Artifacts
  4. Course materials (assignments, syllabi, etc.)
  5. Event summaries (conferences, workshops, etc.)
  6. Faculty and staff professional and personal papers
  7. Faculty/Staff Manuals
  8. Histories of the College/Program Reviews
  9. Publications, such as:
    • Announcements
    • Catalogs
    • Flyers
    • Mass Mailings
    • News Releases
    • Newsletters
    • Posters
    • Programs
  10. Recordings and publications of:
    • Academic events
    • Commencement
    • Concerts and/or programs
    • Student Life events
    • Sporting events
    • Theatre events
  11. Student distinction and honors
  12. Student Organization reports and policies

Subpart B. Historical Value

The decision to select and preserve records of historical value is the responsibility of the relevant custodian(s). In the cases where historical records may be confidential in nature, access will be limited to only individuals authorized by the Records Custodian governing those records.

Part 7. Campus Review

Review Action


Campus Community Review Period

02-Nov-2018 through 21-Nov-2018


December 2018

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee


MAPE Review

December 2018

MMA Review

December 2018

Shared Governance Council Review


Student Senate Review


President Approval


Campus Community Dissemination

April 2019


  • New procedure effective 8/26/2013
  • Reviewed for campus comment Fall 2018