Records Disposal

All State and University records that are not retained for their enduring historical value require permission from the State before being disposed of. The RIMS office facilitates obtaining that permission for all units across the University. After receiving permission from the State, the records must be disposed of properly. Please consult the RIMS office and the appropriate Records Retention Schedule prior to disposing of any records. The process below outlines the steps to follow in order to dispose of University Records.

General Recommendations

Establish a routine for periodically reviewing your files (e.g., annually, semi-annually, or quarterly) to determine what records are ready for disposal.

We recommend retaining your inactive records until you have accumulated at least ¼ cubic foot of records per each category. Questions or concerns? Contact us at: RIMSgroup@uillinois.edu.

A flow chart of the comprehensive disposition process is available.

Records Disposal Process

Step 1: Inventory the Files

Using the RIMS inventory template, perform an initial review of the files in order to classify them into broad categories (e.g. invoice vouchers, general ledger statements, student records, etc.). Identify the date range (e.g. FY09-FY12 or 1998-2005) and the volume of documents (in number of boxes, file cabinet drawers, or gigabytes). The Volume Estimation Guide may be a helpful resource in this task.

Step 2: Identify Duplicates and Non-Records
Many documents in your unit are likely non-records or duplicates, neither of which require State approval prior to disposal. Communication 003: Identification of University Records versus Non-Records may be helpful at this step. If you are still unsure, the RIMS office can help you identify your non-record materials.

Step 3: Determine the Retention
Using the inventory from Step 1, the RIMS team will identify the retention requirement for the categories of files.

Step 4: Submit Disposal Request to the RIMS Office
The RIMS office will submit all disposal requests to the State at the end of each month. To be included in this monthly process, email the inventory from Step 1 to the RIMS office.

Step 5: Disposal Approved
State approval for disposal should be received approximately 30 days from the date the request was submitted to the State.

Step 6: Dispose of the Files
Once approval has been granted, the RIMS team will notify your unit that the disposal of records may proceed. All records should be properly disposed of. The RIMS Information Disposal Guide offers insight to how units can best dispose of their records.

Step 7: Submit Disposal Confirmation to RIMS Office
After the documents have been appropriately disposed of, email the RIMS office a confirmation notice. If the disposal was done by University staff, a simple email confirming the date and manner of disposal is acceptable. If a vendor was used, an email with their invoice will suffice.