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Office of Human Resources

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Policies/Information - Retention of Personnel Files

The attached guidelines outline departmental responsibilities for retaining personnel files.

Please note that these guidelines call for certain files to be forwarded to this office. If you have files for Faculty who left the University through denial of tenure, or denial of reappointment, please hand deliver them to John Kidder at 226 Corbett Hall. If you have files for employees who have been granted Emeritus status, please hand deliver them to Dianne King at 227 Corbett Hall. If there are any questions, please call Human Resources prior to forwarding the personnel file.

The official personnel file for the PATFA teaching unit (part-time faculty) is maintained by Human Resources. Any materials regarding members of this unit should be forwarded to Jennifer CollinsĀ  at Human Resources, 120/124 Corbett Hall.

The length of time for which an inactive personnel file should be retained depends on the reason for the employee’s separation from University employment. The following guidelines apply to hourly, faculty and salaried staff.

Reason for Leaving Action with Personnel File
Voluntary resignation Retain personnel file for six years, then destroy.
Retirement Retain personnel file for six years, then destroy.
Death Retain personnel file for six years, then destroy.
Position Ended Retain personnel file for six years, then destroy.
Emeritus Immediately hand deliver to Dianne King in HR
Discharge (Salaried and Hourly) Immediately hand Deliver to Human Resources Officer assigned to your department
Non-reappointment (Faculty) Immediately hand deliver to John Kidder in HR
Tenure Not awarded (Faculty) Immediately hand deliver to John Kidder in HR
Layoff (Salaried and Hourly) Hand deliver to Human Resources Officer assigned to your department.
Retrenchment (Faculty) Hand deliver to John Kidder in HR

This does not include non-renewal of fixed length appointments.

Due to the confidentiality of personnel files, they should always be hand carried to Human Resources.

The Office of Human Resources retains indefinitely a microfiche file on each employee regardless of the reason for cessation of employment. This file contains copies of Personnel Action Forms. MaineStreet (Peoplesoft) forms; appointment, reappointment, and other personnel letters; and payroll, tax and benefit information.

Files relating to documenting searches and hiring decisions, including resumes, correspondence, copies of advertisements, etc., should be retained for three years. (When a search results in the hiring of a non-resident alien, consult the Office of International Programs before discarding documentation of the search process.) Material about the search should not be placed in the personnel file of the successful applicant. However, documents pertaining to the offer and acceptance of a position should be included in the employee’s personnel file.

Guidelines for maintaining personnel files for current employees vary by collective bargaining unit.


OHR 06/08

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Contact Information

Office of Human Resources
5717 Corbett Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207)581-1581E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System