Policy 705 - E-Mail Retention
Policy 705 - E-Mail Retention

This policy is intended to help employees and students of Lower Columbia College determine what information sent or received by email should be retained and for how long, and is meant to address typical records that may be contained in email and does not necessarily reference other types of records, such as paper or other types of electronic files or data. Those records are covered in depth by the State Board for Community and Technical College record retention policy.

The policy includes, but is not limited to, records that are either stored or shared via electronic mail; including instant messaging for official business.

All employees must familiarize themselves with this email retention policy and the specific retentions relating to their department or division. Questions about the proper classification of a specific piece of information should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources.

This email retention policy is secondary to the SBCTC retention policy; any current public record requests for specific public records; and any litigation hold notices for records in response to potential litigation. The sender is responsible for retaining emails within the College. The recipient is responsible for retaining emails that originate outside the College.

Email retention is generally subject to the following retention periods (see the State Board record retention schedule):

705.1 Transitory administrative records

Records which have no administrative, legal, fiscal, or archival requirement for their retention. These records include personal messages and announcements not related to business; information-only copies; copies of published materials; duplicate copies; preliminary drafts; internal requests for information; transmittal memos; reservations and confirmations; routine college admission letters.

  • Retain until administrative need is satisfied.

705.2 Routine correspondence

Routine correspondence concerning day-to-day office administration and activities. These records include intra-agency correspondence; routine correspondence with other agencies; and correspondence with the public on routine matters. This category does not include executive level correspondence or correspondence concerning policies and procedures.

  • Retain for 30 days.

705.3 Executive level documentation

These records include correspondence and memos at the executive level to and from public officials, the public, and others, concerning policy issues, concerns, actions, or issues.

  • Retain for 4 years in Chief Executive's Office.

705.4 Non-executive level planning and working files

These records include project design plans, survey forms, charges, diagrams, statistics, preliminary analysis reports, research materials, drafts, and other documentation related to management studies, non-fiscal audits, surveys, and planning studies.

  • Retain for 2 years in originating office or designated office.

705.5 Encrypted Communications

E-mail, and any attachments, containing confidential information shall be encrypted from the sending device to the receiving device. The ability to un-encrypt sender's message through authorized process; sending organization must be able to un-encrypt and retrieve originating version of sent message.

Encrypted communications of confidential information should be stored in a manner consistent with College policy, but in general, information should be stored in a decrypted format unless it is confidential personnel, business, protected health or financial information. Please check with the College's Information Services to obtain the appropriate licensed encryption software.

705.6 Retention Mailboxes

Employees shall retain specific types of email records with longer retention period by copying or blind copying their correspondence to the following mailboxes. After the expiration period, the records may be transferred to archives.

Retention Mailboxes:

Historic Information

  • Adopted - November 30, 2009
  • Reviewed by the Cabinet and Leadership Team - May 2009
  • Campus Review - October 26 - November 6, 2009


Resource/Reference/Procedure Title Unit Responsibility
Procedure 705.1 E-Mail Retention Procedures VP Administration/Director of Information Services
SBCTC Policy Manual: Chapter 7 - Public Information and Public Records  State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC)  
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