Records Retention

Records Retention

The Commonwealth of Kentucky mandates by statute that all public records be retained or disposed of according to state guidelines. In 1994, the State Archives developed the first installment of a model schedule for public records generated by state universities. The schedule calls for timely destruction or permanent preservation of all University documents. The latest model was approved in March 2011 and revised in September 2013. The schedule can be found at: State Government Records Retention Schedules (website) under the heading “University Model, State.”

Listed below is a summary of the retention policy for financial records and personnel files. 

Document Minimum Length of Retention
Time Sheets/Absence Records 3 years
Personnel Files 5 years after employee terminates
Payroll Labor/Salary Distribution Reports 3 years*
Travel Requests/Reimbursements/Vouchers 3 years*
Ledgers/PRD's/JV's/Requisitions/Shopping Carts PO's 3 years*
Cash/Check Transmittals/Pro Card Receipts 3 years, if no audit; or 3 years after audit
Work/Job Orders Destroy when maintenance is approved and completed


*Before personnel file destruction, you must establish that these records were transferred to UK Human Resources during the employee’s year of employment.

*Any document or record funded by a grant must be retained 3 years after submission of final financial report, closure of account, and audit, unless otherwise specified by the terms of the grant contract.


  • A record is the same record with the same retention period whether it is in a hard copy format or an electronic format. 
  • After retention has been met (or because office storage space is limited), there are two options:
    • Transfer the non-permanent records to the off site storage facility (currently Kentucky Underground Storage); or
    • Destroy via locked UK recycle bin.  Please work with Ruth Bryan ( or 257-5257) to obtain necessary destruction certificates prior to destroying records.
  • For information on sending/retrieving records to/from Kentucky Underground Storage, please contact Michele Schlake.
  • For questions or clarification on records retention schedules, contact Ruth Bryan in the UK Records Program by e-mail at or by phone at 257-5257.