Document and Record Retention Policy
The objective of this Document and Record Retention Policy (“Policy”) is to ensure that Oak Valley complies with all applicable laws and regulations governing the management, retention, and destruction of records. In certain cases, as described below, it is a crime to destroy records.
For purposes of this Policy, the term “record” refers to any recorded information, wherever such information is or may be stored, that has been created by or for the college, or received by the college in connection with the transaction of the college’s business that is in any format (including, without limitation, paper, electronic, and audiovisual materials).
The college has determined that for statute of limitations or other reasons, certain records must be retained for specific periods of time. The attached record retention schedule provides the minimum retention periods under this Policy for a variety of categories of documents.
Document types that are not listed, but are substantially similar to those listed on the schedule should also be retained for the appropriate minimum retention periods. Records may be retained in print or electronic form. Portable document format (“pdf”), faxed, or scanned documents satisfy record retention requirements, provided that the authenticity of the original is not reasonably expected to be called into question.
Email that needs to be retained should be either (a) printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file, or (b) downloaded to a computer file and kept electronically as a separate file.
The college’s Executive Vice President serves as the college’s Records Management Officer. The Records Management Officer is responsible for overseeing the implementation of, and compliance with, this Policy.
Each employee is responsible for maintaining the records that he or she originates or receives in accordance with this Policy. Employees who are unsure about the need to keep a particular document should consult with the Records Management Officer.
The Records Management Officer shall make periodic reviews of the document retention mechanisms and storage capabilities of the university to ensure the proper maintenance, storage and back-up of the university’s records.Record Retention.
Records for Investigations
No records of any type that may be related to an ongoing or imminent investigation or disciplinary process, lawsuit, or government investigation shall be destroyed and all ordinary disposal or alteration of records pertaining to the subjects of the litigation or investigation shall be immediately suspended.
In certain cases, the Records Management Officer will instruct employees to retain records indefinitely pending an investigation, disciplinary process, or lawsuit. Employees who become aware of a legal matter (whether pending or threatened) should promptly notify the Records Management Officer so that the college can ensure the preservation of all records relating to that matter. If an employee is uncertain whether documents under his or her control should be preserved because they might relate to an investigation or disciplinary process, lawsuit, or government investigation, he or she should contact the Records Management Officer
Failure to comply with this Policy, including interference with the retention or destruction of the university’s records, may result in civil and criminal liability, as well as disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Failure to maintain certain records may subject the college and/or individuals to penalties and fines and may compromise the university’s position in litigation or an investigation.
It is also a federal crime, punishable by a fine and up to 20 years in prison, to knowingly alter, destroy, mutilate, conceal, cover up, falsify or make a false entry in any record with the intent to impede, obstruct or influence the investigation or proper administration of a government investigation or proceeding.
In any case where records are not retained for the period requested, employees should notify the Records Management Officer and provide a notation explaining the cause for records being destroyed prematurely.
Minimum Retention Requirement
Admissions (applications and supporting documents) - Three years (non-matriculating)/Permanent (matriculating)
Complaints (internal investigations) - Seven years
Complaints (external investigations) - As specified by the investigators
Correspondence (general) - Two years
Correspondence (legal or contracts) - Permanent
Employee files including hiring documents (application/resume/references) - While active and seven years after separation
Employment applications (not hired) -Three years
Employment tax records - Seven years
Payroll records - Seven years
Fundraising campaigns/donor records - Permanent
Governance records (agendas/minutes) -Permanent
IRS, EDD, FTB actions - Permanent
Annual financial statements - Permanent
Audits/reviews (CPA) - Permanent
Student grades/records/disciplinary actions - Permanent