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Records Retention

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Records Retention

In order to comply with the statutes established by the State of Oklahoma, 67 O.S. 201-215, regarding the preservation of state documents, a records retention program was initiated by OU-Tulsa in September of 2004.

This website was created to aid University departments in identifying records and guide them in the preservation and destruction of state documents. The information provided on this site should not serve as the sole source of information. Questions regarding the retention of state records should be directed to the Business Continuity & Records Retention Compliance Officer, at (918) 660-3329.  

It is imperative to remember that no University document/record can be destroyed without the approval of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL). The process is initiated by the University department in possession of the records, completing an Agency Notice of Intent to Destroy State Records (ARC Form 4 PDF). The form then sent to the Records Retention and Compliance Officer for final review. Once the information on the form has been verified, it is signed by the RRCO and sent to the ODL for approval. It is reviewed by the State Archivist at the ODL to confirm that it is in compliance with all applicable state statutes. Once the signed form has been returned to the RRCO, the department will be notified that records can be destroyed. These regulations apply to original documents, not copies. Convenience copies may be destroyed at the discretion of the department.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a public record?
Public records can take many forms. They include documents, books, papers, photographs, computer tapes or disks, electronic mail, video or audio recordings. Some examples are:

A document received or created by the University in connection with the transaction of public business.

Information that contains value as evidence of the University's functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, mission, programs, projects or activities.

Information fulfilling regulatory record keeping requirements.

A document that contains a business action such as: what happened, what was decided, what advice was given, who was involved, when it happened, the order of events and decisions.

Public Records are defined by Oklahoma Statutes at 67 O.S. Sec. 203 . If you are not sure whether a record should be classified as a public record, treat it as if it were and seek further verification by contacting the Records Retention and Compliance Officer at (918) 660-3329.


We have records that are outdated and obsolete. Are we free to destroy them?
No, all University records public property. They cannot be recycled or destroyed without proper authorization. Prior to destruction, the University Records Retention and Compliance Officer must prepare an Agency Notice of Intent to Destroy Records (ARC Form 4 PDF) for submission the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL).

Can we destroy paper records that have been transferred to an electronic format?

No, the paper copies of records that have been imaged are still considered to be original documents by the ODL. Permission to destroy such documents must be granted by the ODL after completing a Notice of Intent to Destroy Records that Have Been Imaged (ARC Form 12 PDF) .


How long must we keep our records?
Each record has its own unique retention/disposition schedule, which indicates the minimum period of time each record must be kept. Both the General Records Disposition Schedule for State Agencies and the General Records Disposition Schedule for State Universities and Colleges are available and can help you identify the particular record and its retention period. You may also contact the Records Retention and Compliance Officer for help in identifying a record.


What is the procedure to request permission to destroy our records?
After the records have been identified, contact the Records Retention and Compliance Officer, and provide the following information: 1) type of records; 2) inclusive dates; 3) estimated volume, in cubic feet.