Information Technology Services
Managing Your Electronic Messages:FAQ
Electronic messages management resources are available online. UCOP employees should review "Managing Electronic Messages as University Records" to learn which messages need to be retained and for how long.
- Are electronic messages business records?
- Don't I own my electronic messages?
- How do I manage electronic messages?
- How long should I keep electronic messages?
- Do all messages have to be kept for some time?
- I've got too many messages already. How can I manage it now?
- Why should I manage my electronic messages?
- Are there best practices I should follow?
Yes! Electronic messages that document significant business, administrative, or operational activities or transactions, or have legal or historical value, are business records.
Messages about University business are owned by the University and must be managed as business records. Most messages, even personal messages, are subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, including those business records found on your personal device.
Good message management involves keeping only what you need, adhering to required or suggested retention periods, and deleting what you don't need. See the decisionmaking chart for further guidance.
The subject matter determines how long to keep the message. The UC Records Retention Schedule defines retention periods for some types of records. Good business practice also should guide you – consult your manager.
No. Some messages should be deleted immediately, such as junk and personal items. Messages needed for reference purposes only should be deleted as soon as it's no longer useful.
Start managing incoming messages now and don't worry about old messages. You might catch up later after you've developed good practices.
As a University employee you are responsible for ensuring appropriate access to business records. Improperly retained messages pose costs and legal risk to the University.