4:017 Records Retention and Disposal of Records
Go back

4:017 Records Retention and Disposal of Records


Austin Peay State
Records Retention and Disposal of Records

Issued:  August 17, 2018

Responsible Official:  Vice President for Finance and Administration

Responsible Office:  Business Office


Policy Statement

It is the policy of Austin Peay State University to retain and dispose of records appropriately.


The purpose of this policy sets forth the records retention schedule and procedures for disposal of records for the University.


-Permanent Records
-Temporary Records
-Confidential Public Record
-Records of Archival Value
-Essential Records
-Records Management
-Records Disposition Authorization
-Working Papers
-Records Creation

-Disposal of Records
-Records Officers
-Certificate of Destruction
-Records Retention Schedules
-Statewide RDA’s
-University RDA’s  

-APSU Records Management
-Certificate of Destruction
-TN Division of Records Management


Tennessee Public Records Commission Rule 1210-1-2, Definitions, controls

Records Records shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs,  microfilms, electronic data processing files and output, sound recordings, or other material regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any governmental agency. For the purpose of this policy, records are only those items defined as such by the Commission rules.

Permanent Records Those records which have permanent administrative, fiscal, historical or legal value. 

Temporary Records Those records or materials which can be disposed of in a short period of time as being without value in documenting the functions of an agency. Temporary records will be scheduled for disposal by requesting approval from the Public Records Commission utilizing a Records Disposition Authorization.

Confidential Public
Any public record which has been designated confidential by statute and includes information or matters or records considered to be privileged and any aspect of which access by the general public has been generally denied.

Records of Archival
Any public record which may promote or contribute toward the preservation and understanding of historical, cultural, or natural resources of the State of Tennessee. 

Essential Records Any public records essential to the resumption or continuation of operations, to the recreation of the legal and financial status of government in the state or to the protection and fulfillment of obligations to citizens of the state. 

Agency Agency shall mean any department, division, board, bureau, commission or other separate legislative branch and the judicial branch to the extent that it is constitutionally permissible.

Records Management Records management shall mean the application of management techniques to the creation, utilization, maintenance, retention, preservation, and disposal of records in order to reduce costs and improve efficiency of record keeping. It shall include records retention schedule development, essential records protection, files management and information retrieval systems, microfilm information systems, correspondence and word processing management, records center, forms management, analysis and design, and reports and publications management.

Disposition The preservation of the original records in whole or in part, preservation by photographic or other reproduction processes, or outright destruction of the records. 

Records Disposition Authorization Records Disposition Authorization (RDA) shall mean the official document utilized by an agency head to request authority for the disposition of records. The Public Records Commission shall determine and order the proper disposition of state records through the approval of Records Disposition Authorizations.

Working Papers Those records created to serve as input for final reporting documents, including electronic data processed records, and/or computer output microfilm, and those records which become obsolete immediately after agency use or publication.

Records Creation The recording of information on paper, printed forms, punched cards, tape, disk, or any information transmitting media, shall include preparation of forms, reports, state publications, and correspondence. 


Disposal of Records
  1. Disposal of records must be approved by the State Public Records Commission (PRC). No records, paper, electronic, or other media may be destroyed unless and until meeting the criteria of this policy and PRC rules.
  2. Unless specified otherwise, or otherwise required by law, records may be imaged, microfilmed, or electronically reproduced and the paper copy destroyed upon verification of an archival quality reproduction. The microfilm, image, or electronic record will then be retained for the balance of the indicated retention period.
  3. No record shall be destroyed, however, so long as it pertains to any pending legal case, claim, or action; or to any federal or state audit until such actions have been concluded.
    1. State records have been approved for disposal by state-approved methods:
      1. Shredding
      2. Recycling
      3. Purge (paper & electronic)
    2. Any record designated "confidential" shall be so treated by agencies in the maintenance, storage and disposition of such confidential records. These records shall be destroyed in such a manner that they cannot be read, interpreted or reconstructed.
  4. Unless specifically approved by the APSU Records Officer, any records which reflect "Permanent" retention should be maintained by means other than paper after verification of an archival quality electronic reproduction. After verification, the paper copies will be destroyed.
  5. Actions by the State Commission shall be communicated to all campus Records Officers.

Records Officers
  1. Records Officers have the authority and responsibility to retain and dispose of records in accordance with approved records disposition authorizations.
  2. Prior to the destruction of any records, the Records Officer must determine if the action should be delayed due to audit or litigation requirements.
  3. Specific records pertaining to current or pending litigation or investigation must be retained until all questions are resolved. These specific records can be retained in a suspense file, while all other records not under pending investigation shall be disposed of in accordance with established Statewide and University Records Disposition Authorizations (RDAs).
  4. Records Officers should establish and apply retention schedules for records in their custody that may not be specifically addressed in this policy.

Certificate of
  1. State of Tennessee Records Management Division has authorized the implementation and utilization of the Certificate of Destruction form in order to better track the volume of records destroyed and to insure that records have met the criteria necessary for destruction.
  2. Certificate of Destruction forms must be used when destroying public or confidential records that are not destroyed during the annual Operation Roundfile campaign – an initiative through Executive Order 38 to purge out-of-date documents and/or records on an annual basis.
    1. Certificates shall be held at the University.

Records Retention
  1. APSU adheres to Statewide Records Destruction Authorization (RDA) Classifications.
  2. Notwithstanding the retention period stated herein, should such periods conflict with federal or state law or regulation, the period of longer retention shall apply.

Statewide and University RDA’s
A list of the Statewide and University RDA's that APSU adheres to can be found online at: https://www.apsu.edu/business-services/records.php.


APSU Records Management


Certificate of

Certificate of Destruction form
TN Division of Records Management http://sos.tn.gov/rmd

Revision Dates

APSU Policy 4:017 Rev.: August 17, 2018
APSU Policy 4:017 Rev.: March 15, 2018
APSU Policy 4:017 – Issued: March 8, 2017

Subject Areas:

Academic Finance General Human



President: signature on file