Email Retention and Disposition Schedule


This document specifies the requirements and expectations of employees in maintaining their Electronic Mail (Email); establishes the default retention periods for email retained within the university’s official email system; and confirms the responsibilities of users (account holders) in managing email records according to their division's records retention policy. Email is intended to be used only for purposes appropriate to the university's mission as outlined in the university’s Electronic Mail guidelines. Bryant University has finite resources available to manage computing resources and data. The retention of old unnecessary email messages affects the proper functioning of the system.


The guidelines described in this document apply to all Bryant University employees who are granted access to the university’s email system.  University electronic email is defined as any message composed, sent or received through the university’s email system. The guidelines take into account all email messages sent or received using system or component university email systems.


The retention requirement for email is determined by the content of the communication, and not by the medium. Careful consideration should be given to the retention of email that contain content subject to division-wide records retention schedules.

Email messages contain the following elements:

  • Textual message (this is the main message)
  • Metadata (To, From, Subject, Date, Time, System, etc.)
  • Attachments

These three elements together (Textual, Metadata, and Attachments) may comprise a record. For retention purposes, email is separated into two broad categories:


Email sent or received which has lasting operational, legal, fiscal, or historical value to Bryant University’s programs, administration, or operations should be retained in accordance with the division's records retention policy. These might include interpretations of university policies or regulations which may be the only record of a subject matter. These messages should be transferred to another medium and filed with the custodian of record.

Retention Period: According to the division's record retention policy
Disposal Method: Electronic copy (other than email) or alternate medium


Email received or sent which has little or no lasting operational, legal, fiscal, or historical value to Bryant University programs, administration, or operations should NOT be retained and should be deleted as soon as they no longer serve an administrative purpose. Examples include casual communications, meeting date and time reminders, notices of campus events, routine communications, unsolicited public emails, etc.

Retention Period: Until read
Disposal Method: Delete from email folders when they no longer serve an administrative purpose. Ensure email attachments that are transitory in nature are also deleted.


  • Individual users (senders, recipients) are responsible for identifying and archiving information in their university email.
  • Retained Records should be managed according to the division's records retention schedule.

Email Retention Standard


  • Transitory Messages should be removed promptly from the university email infrastructure by moving the message into either Deleted or Junk Email folders as soon as they no longer serve an administrative purpose.
  • For an individual whose employment is terminated, Human Resources in the course of the termination process will designate an appropriate manager to evaluate the employee’s email records for required retention and take appropriate action to retain email as required. After ninety (90) days post termination, remaining email messages in the terminated employee’s account may be permanently deleted.
  • All official email correspondence is to be performed from a Bryant University email account.
  • Persons given access to Bryant University's email system are expected to be familiar with and abide by university guidelines for the Acceptable Use Policy.


The university shall automatically and permanently dispose of messages placed into the University Email System default folders in accordance with the following schedule:

Inbox: No automatic retention schedule.
Sent Items: Email messages in the Sent Items folder older than 4-years will be automatically removed from the system and become unrecoverable.
Deleted Items: Email messages in the Deleted Items folder older than 365-days will be automatically removed from the system and become unrecoverable.
Junk Folder: No automatic retention schedule.


Any violation of University standards and/or directives may subject the violator to disciplinary actions in accordance with appropriate University processes.


A litigation hold directive overrides this email retention and disposition schedule, as well as any records retention schedules that may have otherwise called for the transfer, disposal or destruction of relevant documents, until the hold has been cleared. Any exceptions to directives outlined within this document are to be reviewed and approved by the Information Security Management Team as needed.

Policy Review and Revisions

Last ReviewedLast UpdatedSummary
1/8/20241/8/2024Annual review and update.