Records Retention and Destruction Policy

Summary of Policy

This policy clarifies responsibility for the retention and disposal of Dartmouth College's Records.

Affected Parties

All Groups

Policy Statement

This policy addresses the retention and disposition of Dartmouth College's Records. It shall apply to all of Dartmouth's schools and departments as records are the property of Dartmouth and not of the employees who create or maintain them.

A "Record" is any recorded information, regardless of format, generated in the course of conducting business and which is maintained to meet the fiscal, legal, historical or administrative needs of Dartmouth. Typical Record formats include but are not limited to paper, microfilm, microfiche, digital storage media (tapes, disks, optical media, etc.) and active data storage in administrative data systems.

The Dartmouth Board of Trustees charges the Dean of Libraries or their designee, in consultation with the schools and departments, to be responsible for the:

  • classification of records with regards to retention;
  • establishment and approval of records retention schedules;
  • establishment or designation of locations and methods for the proper storage of records;
  • establishment of an Archives for the retention of records of historical value;
  • creation of appropriate procedures for record access, archiving and/or destruction; and
  • such other actions as shall be necessary to fulfill this policy.

The maintenance and control of Dartmouth's records is an institutional responsibility. As such, Dartmouth requires its records be managed in a systematic manner to ensure:

  • operational needs are met;
  • legal requirements for record retention are satisfied;
  • the protection and privacy of organizational records is assured (DISC section 16);
  • records are stored efficiently to manage costs;
  • records of historical value are preserved;
  • records are disposed, either via archival transfer or destruction at the conclusion of their retention period;
  • in the event of a pending or suspected lawsuit, regulatory action, claim, government audit or investigation, or in the event of a Dartmouth audit or investigation or other instance directed by the Office of General Counsel, all scheduled destruction of records cease and will be preserved until the order is lifted.

All Dartmouth employees whose duties put them in possession of records shall work closely with the Dean of Libraries or their designee to ensure that the records are maintained according to records management best practices and in adherence to the appropriate retention schedule.

Policy ID


Effective Date

March 4, 2012

Last Revised Date

February 20, 2020


Office of the Provost

Office of Primary Responsibility

Records Management

Last Reviewed Date

February 20, 2020

Next Review Date