Backup and Data Retention Policy


Backup Schedule & Retention

Backups are copies of electronic data kept for the purpose of data restoration in the case of accidental deletion, file corruption, system failure, or disaster recovery. Backups of data hosted on university servers are taken daily. Full backups are encrypted and sent off-site on a weekly basis. Backups are retained on-site for a minimum of 56 days (8 weeks) and off-site for a minimum of 365 days (1 year). This does not apply to data stored using cloud solutions (e.g. Canvas) unless otherwise specified or data stored on user computing devices such as laptops.

Account Deactivation

When accounts are deactivated per the Accounts Policy, data associated with the user (e.g. email, files on personal network drive, files on My Drive in Google) will be deleted after a minimum retention period of four weeks.

Data Restoration

Requests for data restoration must include the business impact if not restored and should be submitted to the Technology Service Desk with information such as the file creation date, file name, file location, or date/time the file was deleted. Data from on-site backups have no monetary retrieval cost; data from off-site backups have a variable retrieval cost. Retrieving data from backups, on-site or off-site, will be determined at the discretion of the server system administrators and departments may incur a cost if an off-site retrieval is necessary.

Requests for restoration of data associated with the former employee must be submitted in writing by the former employee’s respective Associate Vice President within four weeks of the employee’s departure.

In the case of data restoration during disaster recovery, data will be restored according to the most recent full and incremental backups available at the time.

Data Retention

Data owners are responsible for determining retention periods that adhere to legal and regulatory requirements. Administrative records maintained on university enterprise systems may be kept indefinitely at the discretion of the data owners responsible for the information.

Legal Holds

When directed by the Office of the University Counsel, provisions of this policy may be superseded due to requirements from litigation, audits, or similar events.