Service Desk

Email Retention Policy FAQs

What is the Email Retention Policy?

This policy establishes the default retention periods for email retained on CSUEB servers. CSUEB email systems will be configured to automatically and permanently delete messages retained for more than 120 days on email servers. This auto-delete policy applies to messages within all folders (inbox folders, sent file folders, draft file folders, etc.) stored on CSUEB email servers.

Why do we need this policy?

CSUEB needs a legally defensible email management policy that brings us into compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, lowers our infrastructure costs, and improves our operational efficiency and effectiveness.

  • The 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure     (  addressing the discovery of electronically stored information, and CSU Executive Order 1031,  ( Systemwide Records/Information Retention and Disposition Schedules Implementation require institutions to establish email retention policies.
  • During an electronic discovery process, all types of data serve as evidence –  text, email, images, calendar files, databases, spreadsheets, audio files, animation, websites and computer programs.
  • The ease with which electronic information can be generated, stored, altered, transmitted, and destroyed has complicated the discovery process, as has the sheer volume of information that is processed and the various formats in which it can be created, stored, and produced. Consequently, universities must now begin actively managing their electronically stored information – failure to do so will increase costs of litigation and risks of sanctions.
  • The volume and size of electronic documents, email folders, spreadsheets, images, video streams, etc, generated and stored by CSUEB faculty, staff and students is increasing exponentially. The combined effect is that CSUEB’s electronic storage requirements are doubling every 9 to 10 months – creating significant financial and infrastructure challenges.

When will this policy be implemented?

  • January 31, 2009.

What will department managers and chairs need to do?

  • Divisions and colleges must review and revise their respective unit-level records management programs in order to comply with CSU EO 1031. These programs must include procedures for appropriately storing and disposing of records/information communicated via email in accordance with CSUEB’s Email Retention Policy.
  • Department managers and chairs need to inform their staff and faculty of the revised procedures.

  How will faculty and staff need to change their email practices?

  • Routinely delete messages that no longer have significance.
  • Routinely move messages that have significance (beyond the default 120 day retention period) to appropriate alternative storage locations.
  • Use automatic archiving features within MS Outlook as a safety mechanism for moving messages that have significance, but do not have lasting value (as defined by University, College, and Department policies), to email folders stored on local desktop computers

Where can faculty and staff find help managing their email files, folders, and messages?

  • Information Technology Services (ITS) is preparing instructions, documentation, and training on how to use the archiving features of MS Outlook and other widely used IMAP-capable email client software products.
  • ITS is also preparing documentation and training on how to save emails with lasting value into more appropriate formats and move them to removable drives, shared drives, local hard drives or SharePoint.
  • Access to these support services can be obtained by contacting the Service Desk at or by calling (510) 885-HELP (4357).

Will email folders and files (such as PST files) stored on local computers be backed up on CSUEB servers?

  • No, email folders and archive files stored on local computers will not be backed up on university servers.

Will email folders and files on CSUEB servers be backed up?

  • Backup copies of CSUEB central email system files and folders are kept for 5 weeks. These backups are for system restoration and disaster recovery purposes, and are not designed to facilitate retrieval of individually deleted messages.

Will faculty and staff be able to recover emails that are automatically deleted after the 120 day retention period?

  • No, individual emails automatically deleted from the CSUEB email system will not be recoverable.

Will faculty and staff be able to forward their email to other accounts (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.)?

  • Yes, email can be forwarded to non-campus accounts. However, university addresses should be used for all university related email communications. University related email should not be sent directly to faculty, staff, or student non-csueastbay email addresses.  In addition, forwarded email is still covered by the portions of the policy governing “transitory” and “lasting value” emails, and email forwarding may introduce extra security risks.

Are there other options for sharing important information without using email?

  • Yes, ITS is preparing documentation and training for alternative ways  to satisfy certain types of communication and information sharing needs. For assistance, contact the Service Desk  at or call (510) 885-HELP (4357).
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