Records Retention Schedules

Records retention schedules are the guide to the records of an institution or specific area. For each record series, they provide a description of the series and indicate the length of time it must be maintained as well as its ultimate disposition. Retention periods take into consideration University, State and Federal requirements as well as those of professional bodies such as accrediting and licensing agencies. They are prepared by the University Records Manager using Records Retention for Public Colleges and Universities in Ohio: A Manual and in consultation with Departmental records personnel, the Designated Records Officer for the administrative area, and other University personnel where appropriate.

The vast majority of the University of Cincinnati can rely on the General Records Schedule for their records needs. However, some departments will need their own unique schedules due to records they create or maintain that are not found elsewhere in the university. If your area requires its own unique retention schedule, you must create an inventory in cooperation with records management.

Elements of all records retention schedules at the University of Cincinnati include:

Cover Sheet or Front Material


  • Schedule Number: A three-part unique number is given to each record series. The first part is the year the schedule was created; the second part is the office number or general retention record group, and the third part is the record series number.
  • Title of Record Series
  • Description of Record Series
  • Authority
  • Minimum Retention: The minimum amount of time that records within the series must be retained in the office of record
  • Disposition: The ultimate fate of the records

Minimum retention period explanations:

  • X years: X being the number of years the record must be retained following its creation.
  • ACT: While the record is active, or is still in use in the office
  • ACT+X: While the record is active plus X, which is specific number of years
  • IND: Indefinite. The these records must be retained indefinitely in the office of record
  • SUP: Until superseded. Usually for reference material or short-term items that are updated often.

Disposition explanations: