Office of the Provost

Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook
Chapter 6 -- Business Affairs: General Regulations, Services, and Procedures

 

Electronically Stored Information

Introduction

Technological advancements have resulted in a dramatic increase in the amount of information that is stored electronically on the University's network. The University is responsible for managing the information that is stored on its network and therefore a comprehensive policy regarding storage and maintenance of electronic information will help the University fulfill this responsibility. In addition, the proliferation of electronically stored information (ESI) has resulted in required disclosure of such information in certain litigation. In light of these considerations, the following policy is established:

General Policy

ESI may include, but is not limited to email, financial documentation, documents created with certain software including, but not limited to, Microsoft Word and Excel, and telephone records. This policy is intended to direct the storage, retention and destruction of such information. Generally, FHSU’s Computing and Telecommunication Center (CTC) will be responsible for compliance with this policy regarding ESI. However, in the event that any individual units or affiliated enterprises of FHSU is responsible for storing or maintaining ESI, such entities must comply with this policy as well. 

Email Records

Email Records are copied to backup media Monday through Friday evenings in any given week. This storage is performed by copying the data to another disk location and then cloning that data to magnetic tape. The data stored on disk is only held for three weeks, but the data stored on magnetic tape is saved for six months. At the end of the six months, the information is erased unless CTC is directed otherwise.

Financial Data

ESI related to the financial affairs of the University is retained one month at a time and then is stored for one year beyond the end of any given month. By way of example, financial information for the month of January is retained between January 1st and January 31st and is stored until January 31 of the following year, at which time it is destroyed unless CTC is directed otherwise. 

Documents

ESI stored on FHSU file servers and created by the use of software including, but not limited to, Microsoft Word and Excel is saved each evening Monday through Friday. This storage is performed by copying the data to another disk location and then cloning that data to magnetic tape. The data stored on disk is only held for three weeks, but the data stored on magnetic tape is saved for six months. At the end of the six months, the information is erased unless CTC is directed otherwise.

Telephone Records

Telephone records are saved for a period of five years in an Oracle database. This database is backed up and stored on disk and tape for this same five year period.

Litigation Holds

From time to time, CTC and other applicable units and employees may be asked by FHSU's General Counsel to place a "litigation hold" on certain ESI. A litigation hold is a direction that all information subject to the hold be retained and not discarded, so that the University's general practices and policies of maintaining, storing, and discarding such information are suspended until the conclusion of the litigation hold. When the CTC, any other unit or affiliated entity of the University, or any individual employee or other user of the University's network is given notice of a litigation hold they are required to comply, as serious consequences may result to the University from discarding the ESI after a need to retain it has arisen.

Academic Freedom and Intellectual Property

No provision of this policy shall be construed to either limit the academic freedom of faculty in their instructional research or service activity, or to determine intellectual property rights relating to the information that is stored on the University’s network.

Adopted by President’s Cabinet (03-05-08).

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