Formerly named  Retention/Purge Policy Draft
Revised and approved by Learn@UW steering committee – March 16, 2009

The purpose of this document is to define minimum retention times for electronic student records and entire courses hosted by The Utility in its support of Learn@UW (Desire2Learn), and to specify what items can be purged and when.

The following guidelines are consistent with records retention and purge requirements as established by University of Wisconsin policy for electronic records.

To “purge” a course, file or database record refers to the complete removal and deletion of that item with no reasonable way of restoring it. To purge an item is to permanently delete it.

To “retain” a course, file or database record means to take no action on that item. It does not imply that retained items are secured or protected in such a way as to prevent instructors from deleting them from their own courses.

“Student contributions” refers to files and database entrees resulting from student activity. These include discussion postings, dropbox assignments, gradebook entrees, among others.

A “course” refers to all database records and files associated with a single course. This includes all files and materials included by the instructor(s) and all student contributions, if any. It also includes the course home page and all sub pages linked within the Learn@UW application.

This guideline and University of Wisconsin policy on records and retention recognize that instructors are responsible for their own course materials, including both the material they create and the contributions of their students. In support of instructors’ obligations, each campus using Learn@UW will include in its support documentation a link to a web page which includes contact information for the official archive expert for that campus.

The Utility may purge courses, files and database entries based on the following criteria:

The Utility will retain courses and student contributions until at least two years after the course ends. This two year window is a minimum and not a strict deadline for purging entire courses. Any and all courses & student contributions may be purged by The Utility after this two year window.