Record Retention Schedules

The University at Buffalo is required to follow the retention guidelines in the State University of New York (SUNY), New York State (NYS), or Research Foundation (RF) record retention schedules.

Record Retention Schedules

The priority search order for records is:

SUNY – Records Retention and Disposition Schedule

SUNY – Records Retention and Disposition Schedule

The State University of New York (SUNY) Records Retention and Disposition Schedule indicates the minimum length of time that campuses must retain the records covered by this schedule before the records may be legally disposed. The schedule is divided into a number of topics and sub-topics. You can find retention information by visiting the SUNY Records Retention and Disposition Schedule page, and selecting the topic related to your record.

NY State – General Retention and Disposition Schedule

NY State – General Retention and Disposition Schedule

The General Retention and Disposition Schedule for New York State Government Records is divided into a number of topics. You can find retention information by visiting the Schedule Sections page, and choosing the topic related to your record.

Research Foundation – Record Retention Schedule

Research Foundation – Record Retention Schedule

UB must follow The Research Foundation of SUNY (RF) Records Retention Policies for all RF related documents.  RF Records should NOT be filed with the records of any other funding entity. 

Some of the topics on these schedules may be broad and describe the purpose or function of records rather than identifying individual records and forms. Records whose content and function are substantially the same as an item described on the schedules should be considered to be covered by that item. 

The SUNY Records Retention Schedule (SUNY Schedule) contains records specific to SUNY, while the NY State General Retention and Disposition Schedule (NY State Schedule) includes all state records. Many of the SUNY Schedule topics are not covered by the NY State Schedule and some are a supplement to the NY State Schedule. If records appear in both schedules, the records should be maintained per the SUNY Schedule requirements.

  • The schedules indicate the minimum length of time that university officials must retain the “official” records before the records may be disposed of legally.
  • Non-official copies of the records should be disposed of when the department no longer has an administrative need for them.
  • The record retention period should be consistently applied regardless of the storage media (e.g., paper, electronic).
  • Any records that are part of a legal action or audit should be maintained for one year after the legal action or audit is completed, or the records' normal retention period, whichever is longer.

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