Storing Academic Records

Now that you know how long to keep academic records, let's talk about storing that grade-related data in a secure manner. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) advises instructors to consult the Institutional Data policy (IDP) for proper ways to store educational records.

According to the IDP, academic records are considered "private," which means they can be kept digitally using Ohio State-managed network storage or BuckeyeBox.

ProTip: Since grade-related records should be destroyed two terms after the term in which they were recorded, you could set up auto-deletion within BuckeyeBox. While in the folder you'd like to auto-delete, click the ellipses for more options. Select Properties then Folder Settings, and scroll down to Automated Actions. Here you can set a specific date to delete the records you no longer need to keep! (You will want to note on your Outlook calendar to submit the Certificate of Records Disposal to the University Archives for approval at least one week before the scheduled auto-deletion.)

If you choose to encrypt academic records, more storage options are available. You can download the "Permitted Data Usage By Activity" chart and complete Protecting Institutional Data In addition to this information, Helen Patton, Ohio State's Chief Information Security Officer, reminds faculty to "always check with your IT support teams for the best place to store your information, as this will vary by college." Your local IT contacts may want to provide you with a higher security solution than BuckeyeBox or an encrypted desktop computer.

Why is storing - or deleting - this information correctly so important? If it is suspected that students' academic records have been mishandled, the university conducts an investigation that could lead to public reporting of the incident and potential fines and other consequences for the university. Helen said "The university takes the responsibility of handling student data very seriously and expects faculty to do the same."


Enroll in Protecting Institutional Data training through BuckeyeLearn.

Contact with any questions regarding the Institutional Data policy.


IDP Data Elements PDF

IDP User Activities PDF