Office of the Secretary > Records Management > Disposition of Records

Disposition of Records

The final disposition for DePaul’s records depends on the type of record. The Records Retention Schedule indicates the final disposition for each type of record. Some records need to be shredded, others need to be stored permanently, and still others need to be transferred to the University Archives. In addition, the destruction of any official record, either by shredding or other means, needs to be documented using the Records Disposal Certificate. 

Before disposing of any official university records, your department must fill out and submit a Records Disposal Certificate to the Department of Records Management. The purpose of this form is to document the destruction of official records in the event your department or the university is questions as to their whereabouts. Click here to fill out the a Records Disposal Certificate.​​

DePaul currently has a contract with R4 Services to provide shredding services for the university.

Records of a confidential or proprietary nature should be shredded. It is important to use the shredding consoles that are provided through R4 Services and not use personal shredders. If a department has a legal hold placed on their records is it easy to verify that destruction has been halted if the records to be shredded are always placed in the approved consoles because there is a record kept of their pick up and shredding. If you have a shredder in the office that you feed the documents into and it shreds as they are fed in, you can not verify that shredding stopped when the hold was placed.

Additionally, it is more efficient to place your records to be shredded into a shredding console instead of standing at your office shredder feeding them one handful at a time. Large and small quantities can be placed into the console and it can be emptied at your convenience.

If your office needs a shredding console, please contact the Department of Records Management at for more information, including current pricing.
DePaul currently has a contract with R4 Services to provide off-site storage services for the university.

The Department of Records Management encourages departments to consider off-site storage when looking for a place to put inactive records until their retention period is over. Off-site storage provides increased security, simple access and tracking, and efficient destruction when necessary. Additionally, using off-site storage frees up space in your offices for more important uses. Off-site storage is easy and surprisingly affordable. R4 Services also provides an online database for use in indexing, tracking, and retrieving all files sent to storage.

If your office needs is interested in the off-site storage, please contact the Department of Records Management at or 2-7941 for more information, including current pricing.
You probably have a file drawer or two - or a file cabinet! - filled with old office files that you produced or inherited over the years. These items may document your department and its function. You might need them to answer questions your boss has. You might take a look and compare them to the records retention schedule, and decide you don't need them any more (or you shouldn't have them at all). Or you might decide that they are part of the records that provide unique and vital information about your department or office that should be transferred to Archives.

When you transfer those records to University Archives those files become part of the collective history of DePaul and benefit future scholars, researchers and students. The University Archives exists to document the history of DePaul. If you are looking for a place to store non-archival records long-term outside of your office, please see the section titled Storage.

Here is a brief list of records that should be transferred to the University Archives:
  • Annual or summary reports that document the business and accomplishments of your department
  • Publications produced for dissemination by your department
  • Minutes of official departmental bodies -- that is, meeting minutes of committees or groups that make decisions that impact the functions and future of the department
  • Other records listed as needing to be sent to the University Archives on the Records Retention Schedule
For more information on what records should be transferred to the University Archives and how they should be transferred, please visit Transferring Records to the University Archives or contact Andrea Bainbridge at or (773) 325-1746.
What are Fun File Days?
Fun File Days are an opportunity for offices and departments to reclaim precious space by purging or archiving documents that are no longer needed for business purposes per the University's Records Retention Schedule.

Records Management in the Office of the Secretary will provide bins from the University's shredding vendor (R4 Services) to any department that is interested in participating. Records Management provides the bins, you provide the fun! During the last Fun File Days event, DePaul shredded 7 tons of paper over five days.

Even if you don't have paper records you could use this week to promote the deletion of files on your department's shared drives or personal network drives or even going through and purging old emails!

When are Fun File Days?
Fun File Days occur twice a year, typically in June and November. Take this opportunity to clean out storage areas, file cabinets, and offices by placing records that are eligible for destruction into the bins and boxing up records that need to be stored off-site or sent to the University Archives. Fun File Days are also a great opportunity to clean up network drives and other electronic records repositories (such as ImageNow™).

What do I need to do if my department wants to participate?
Interested departments need to contact the Department of Records Management, at

All departments that participate will receive a certificate indicating how many trees, how much water, and how many other resources they saved based on how much they shredded and recycled. Prizes will be awarded to the departments that reclaim the most space.

At the end of the quarter and/or semester questions tend to arise surrounding how long to keep student work products such as unclaimed or unreturned papers, projects, or exams.  In order to assist you with the management of these documents, DePaul’s Department of Records Management has created some guidelines for you.

In accordance with the Grade Challenge requirements, unreturned student work products must be kept two regular terms (excluding Summer) following the one in which they were produced:

Produced During If no Incomplete (IN) grade given, destroy at the End Of If incomplete (IN) given, destroy at the end of
Summer Quarter 2016 and prior Winter Quarter 2017 Spring Quarter 2017
Autumn Quarter 2016 Spring Quarter 2017 Autumn Quarter 2017
Winter Quarter 2017 Autumn Quarter 2017 Winter Quarter 2018
Spring Quarter 2017 Winter Quarter 2018 Spring Quarter 2018

For students who received an Incomplete (IN) in a course their unreturned work products must be kept three regular terms (excluding Summer) following the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned. In the case of the Law School work products should be kept until at least the end of the semester following the one in which the incomplete grade was assigned.

For more information on the retention of student-produced work, please see the following sections of the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Handbooks:

  • Grade Challenges, Undergraduate (Part 6)
  • Incomplete Expiration Policy, Undergraduate
  • Grade Challenges, Graduate (Part 6)
  • Incomplete and Research Expiration Policy, Graduate

In order to protect student privacy, all items should be shredded at the end of their retention period. To facilitate the shredding process, the Department of Records Management periodically sponsors a file destruction event known as “Fun File Days”. The Department of Records Management can provide a shredding bin for your department to use for student work products and other materials that you no longer need to keep. For more information please visit the Fun File Days FAQ.

Records Group Number 11.46, DePaul Hosted Instructor Materials, covers online instructor materials on Learning Management System (Desire2Learn) application servers and associated disk space managed by Information Services (IS) and Faculty Instructional Technology Services. (FITS).

Per the University Records Retention Schedule, IS/FITS will retain online instructor materials as described above for five (5) years from the end of the course. Students may continue to have access to their individual course materials in accordance with the Grade Challenge and Incomplete Course requirements but continued online access is not guaranteed beyond this time frame. Note: the retention period for online instructor materials was changed from two (2) to five (5) years on January 26, 2017.