Deletion/Retention of Electronic Messages

Updated February 2016

Messages sent using University systems – whether email, voicemail, or IM –  are University resources. They may be official business records, are potentially subject to the California Public Records Act, and simply may be useful for reference. As stewards of these resources, we need to practice good message management. That means following best practices, adhering to the UC Records Retention Schedule and, depending on the content, deleting or storing messages to facilitate search and retrieval of records.

See information below about voicemail, email, and IM.

Voicemail Messages

Message Synchronization

  • Audio copies of voicemail messages are automatically sent to your email Inbox, where they can be opened and played. The two messages are synchronized, and how you manage one – either the original voicemail or the audio email copy – affects what happens to the other.
    • If you keep the sync between the two messages – meaning you leave the email copy in your Inbox – both will be automatically deleted when you delete one or the other.
    • If you break the sync by moving the audio email copy from the Inbox to an archive folder, you will need to manage the messages separately. This is inconvenient and means you may end up storing copies you don’t actually want.
    • If you don’t find it useful to receive audio copies of voicemail in your email, you can ask the IT Service Desk to turn it off.

Message Deletion

  • Once listened to (and if the sync between voicemail and email has been retained), voicemail messages and the audio email copy are retained for 30 days and then automatically deleted. You are able to delete them any time before then.
    • Deleted email audio copies of voicemail messages are transferred to the email deleted items folder. After 14 days (unless you empty the folder sooner), they are permanently deleted and cannot be restored.
    • Deleted voicemail messages are tagged as deleted in the voice system but are still accessible. After 14 days (unless you delete them sooner), they are permanently deleted and cannot be restored.
    • If not listened to, voicemail messages are retained indefinitely (unless you delete them, or unless the email audio copy is deleted). However, the audio email copies in your Inbox are subject to UCOP email retention rules.
    • If you mark an email copy of a voicemail as “unread” in the Inbox, it reverts to being treated as “not listened to” in the voice system and will be saved indefinitely.

Email Messages

  • Email at UCOP is subject to a one-year retention rule: Email messages in the Inbox (including any subfolders), Sent, Drafts, and Junk folders older than one year are automatically deleted.
  • Email messages you need to keep longer than one year should be moved to folders in the Outlook Online Archive.
  • Deleted messages are transferred to the Deleted Items folder. After 14 days (unless you empty the folder sooner), they are permanently deleted and cannot be restored.

Instant Messaging

  • Instant messaging (IM) at UCOP is available via OWA only, and chats logs are not saved when you close your chat window.