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Email Retention Procedures

Date/Issuing Authority

Effective Date: April 3, 2006
Date Last Reviewed: January 9, 2013
Date Scheduled for Review: January 2014
Issuing Authority: Chief Information Security Officer


Electronic mail has become a universally available service that greatly enhances communication, both internally within the Temple University Community and externally to clients. This policy establishes the maximum period that all Temple University email systems retain your Temple email mailbox and all associated folders. It also confirms roles and responsibilities for implementation, including management of litigation holds.


This retention policy applies to:

  1. All email systems provided or funded (in part or in whole) by Temple University; and
  2. All employees, faculty, students, authorized alumni and guests, and anyone else who has an email address ending in


  1. Most emails are created primarily for routine communication or information exchange, i.e., not university records. These messages should be considered transitory messages that do not have any lasting value (defined below) and should be Read and promptly deleted; or
  2. Read and retained on a server or within the application where they are used, but in the event of an email outage not critical to business and not needed if system recovery is not possible
  3. Read and moved off the active server into the system defined as authority for the university record.
  4. Deleted emails should be removed after 30 days. Deleted emails can be located in Deleted Items or Trash Folders.
  5. Recovered Deleted Items Folder should be deleted after 7 days.


  • Lasting Value – When the contents of an email has one or more of the following characters 1) operational value necessary for a department to function, 2) legal or evidential value, 3) fiscal value relating to financial transactions, 3) historical significance or 4) vital to operational continuity after disruption or disaster
  • TUmail – Temple University’s e-mail system managed by Information Technology Services.
  • Third-party hosted system – A system managed by someone other than Temple University’s Information Technology Services, i.e., Google and Google Mail.
  • e-mail account – any account receiving e-mail that enters the Temple University e-mail environment, regardless of whether it’s final destination is within the Temple environment or on a third-party hosted system.