Electronic Records Retention & Disposal Policy

Applies to:

Effective  Date:

Approved by:

All Florida Tech Employees

January 2022

Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, President

 

Purpose/Goal

This policy addresses the retention and disposal of Florida Tech's electronic email correspondence. The University seeks to adhere to Federal and local laws, as they pertain to records management and destruction, while maintaining consistent best practices.

This policy identifies procedures to manage retention and disposal of electronic email correspondence and is intended to ensure that legal standards are met, University history is preserved, and outdated records are disposed of appropriately.

Scope

The Electronic Correspondence Retention & Disposal Policy applies to all Florida Tech employees and applies to all electronic email correspondence communications that are made or received during the transaction of University business.

Definitions

The term "electronic record" means any record that is created, received, maintained or stored on University local workstations, central servers, or external servers. Examples include, but are not limited to:

I.  Electronic mail (e-mail)
ii.  Instant messages
iii. Web site content
iv. Word processing documents and spreadsheets
v.  Databases
vi. Social media content

Social Media Applications

Electronic content developed by users of social computing tools are public records. These tools must be used in a way that is in compliance with the Public Records Law, ensures transparency, and maintains security of University networks. Users of social media accounts are responsible for appropriately using social computing tools and maintaining the content generated by such tools.

Procedures

Work-related emails are University records and should be treated as such. Any items not relative to work at Florida Tech (i.e.: junk mail or personal mail), should be deleted immediately. Generally, Florida Tech emails are to be retained for a period of 180 days or six months. All department leaders will be responsible for conveying this guidance to their direct reports.

Upon voluntary separation of employment, faculty and staff may elect to receive Florida Tech emails for a 2- week period forwarded to a personal email account. Following the 2-week period, the Florida Tech email account will be deactivated.

Litigation Holds

When litigation against the University or its employees is filed or threatened, the law imposes a duty upon the University to preserve all documents and records that pertain to the issues. As soon as The Office of Risk and Compliance Management and/ or the Office of Human Resources is made aware of pending or threatened litigation, a litigation hold directive will be issued to the legal custodians. The litigation hold directive overrides any records retention schedule that may have otherwise called for the transfer, disposal or destruction of the relevant documents until the hold has been cleared by the President. E-mail and computer accounts of separated employees that have been placed on a litigation hold will be maintained by Information Technology Services until the hold is released. No employee who has been notified of a litigation hold may alter or delete an electronic record that falls within the scope of that hold. Violation of the hold may subject the individual to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, as well as personal liability for civil and/or criminal sanctions by the courts or law enforcement agencies.

Enforcement

Failure to comply with the Electronic Records Retention Policy and associated schedules and procedures can result in disciplinary action and penalties applicable by law.

This policy is subject to amendment.