Destroying Records

There are two required steps to destroying a Record:

  1. Destroy the Record
  2. Document your Destruction (except for extra copies - see below for details)

Set aside time to destroy Records at least once a year. How you destroy Records depends on the information in the Record. There are four levels of data as per Policy 856, Data Security and Handling.

  • Level I & II Records

    Level I:  Records fully available to the public. Examples: brochures, yearbooks, recruiting materials, annual reports, etc.

    Level II:  Internal Records with no personal identifying information (PII). Examples: procedures, operations manuals, internal reports and memos, etc.


    Both Level I and Level II Records are destroyed in the same way:

    • Electronic Records: delete the file from the device and empty the recycle bin
    • Physical Records: recycle

    Then document your destruction.

  • Level III Records

    Level III:  Confidential Records containing PII and is not otherwise covered in levels I, II, or IV. Examples: student records, grades and tests, grants, contracts, HR documentation, etc. These are destroyed as follows:

    • Electronic Records: contact your department’s IT person to coordinate destruction of these electronic records
    • Physical Records: shred yourself or deposit in a locked secure Cintas shredding bin

    Then document your destruction.

  • Level IV Records

    Level IV:  Extremely sensitive Records including health and financial information containing HIPAA, HITECH, PCI DSS, etc.  These are destroyed as follows:

    • Electronic Records: contact your department’s IT person to coordinate destruction of these electronic records
    • Physical Records: must be shredded on-site with a cross-cut shredder and not moved to another venue for shredding; can be inserted into a locked, secure shredding bin only if those Records are shredded on-site with a cross-cut shredder and not moved to another venue for shredding

    Then document your destruction.

  • Documenting Destruction

    Anytime you destroy records, you need to document it. This documentation helps create Tennessee Tech’s annual report to the State of Tennessee. There is a simple online form to do so: https://fs26.formsite.com/xDqYjm/rmdcod/index.html.

    • Agency: Tennessee Tech University
    • Division:  Department owning the Records that were destroyed
    • Address/Location:  Box number of Department
    • Allotment Code:  33260
    • Record Series Title:  This is a broad description of each Record type you destroy. Examples: “Timecards” or “Promotional Publications”
    • RDA Number:  Enter the RDA number that relates to that Record type’s destruction. Find the RDA in Policy 113.  
    • Date range of records disposed:  The month and year the records began and ended.
    • Volume & Volume Type:  This is how much space the Records took up prior to destruction. This is measured in cubic feet for physical items; one cu ft is approximately the size of one regular paper box. Electronic items are measured in GB, which can be viewed in the file details before deleting; 1 GB = 1000 MB.
    • There is another line for Record series through Volume so you can enter two Record types per form; this line is not required if you only have one Record type.
    • Destruction type:  select the method you used; purging is for deleting electronic records.
    • Date of Records Destruction:  the date Records were destroyed
    • Contact Name, Title, Email, and Signature:  This is you, the person destroying the Records
    • Agency Records Officer:  Sharon Holderman
    • Agency Records Officer Email:  sholderman@tntech.edu

    Once you submit the form, you will receive a copy via email, Sharon Holderman will receive a copy, and the State of Tennessee’s Division of Records Management receives a copy.

  • Extra Copies

    Destroying extra copies is the only type of destruction that does not need to be documented because it is not destroying the Record, just duplicates. This applies to extra copies of any format.

    Example 1:  You have 10 copies of a marketing brochure for your department. You can destroy 9 of those copies without documenting it because those are extra copies.

    Example 2:  You have student worker agreements on paper and would like to digitize them. Once they are digitized, you can destroy the paper copies because those are just extra copies now.

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