Requirements for Destruction of University Records

The University Records Management Program is established to facilitate the efficient maintenance and destruction of the University of Memphis' records and to ensure availability and protection of vital information. No records are to be destroyed or otherwise disposed by University employees on their own initiative until the minimum retention period has elapsed and proper approvals received. 

A Records Disposal Request and Authorization Form must be completed and submitted prior to destruction. The following "steps" must be confirmed before destroying University records:

  • the record name appears on the records retention and disposition schedule, and the record's retention period has expired;
  • a completed request to destroy form has been approved by the appropriate Provost/Vice President and the University Records Officer; and
  • there is no pending litigation, audit, investigation, or open request for the records.

Instructions for Completing the Records Destruction Form

To obtain approval to destroy University records, complete the Records Disposal and Authorization form as follows:

  • Indicate the applicable approvers (Department Head/Activity Manager; Provost Vice President or President; and University Records Officer). 
  • Enter the record name; date(s) of records; volume of records; retention period and proposed disposal date.  Determine the appropriate record name by searching the retention schedule database. For information on the record volume, use the guide below.

Provided there no major issues, your form will be approved within 1-2 business days.

To determine the appropriate record series, search the retention schedule database. For information on the record volume, use the guide below.

Paper Records

The volume of paper records is determined by cubic foot. A cubic foot is "a measure used to indicate the quantity of materials, commonly used to describe the size of large collections. Note: A records center box, which measures approximately 10 × 12 × 16 inches, is generally counted as a cubic foot, even though it is slightly larger."

To find cubic feet: Length x width x height (in inches) divided by 1,728 = cubic feet

Records Measurement Guide

To determine the approximate volume of records, use this guide in conjunction with the Records and Disposal Authorization form.

Size Description Volume
15" of letter size documents 1.0 cubic feet
12" of legal size documents 1.0 cubic feet
1 Letter size vertical file drawer 1.6 cubic feet
1 Legal size vertical file drawer 2.0 cubic feet
1 Letter or legal size lateral file drawer [9.5" x 26" x 16"] 2.4 cubic feet
1 Record carton (standard banker's box) [10" x 12" x 16"] 1.0 cubic feet
1 Record carton (larger trans file box) [24" x 13" x 11"] 1.8 cubic feet


Source: https://ctstatelibrary.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/RecordsMeasurementGuide.pdf