Electronic Mail (Email) Retention Policy - D112

Issued By:

Office of the Chief Information Officer


October 22, 2013


October 22, 2013


This policy applies to all electronic mail (email) on University-sponsored email systems. 


The policy of Stony Brook University, including the Health Sciences Center, Hospital, and Long Island State Veterans Home, regarding retention, purging, and expungement of electronic mail (email) on University‑sponsored email systems is as set forth below:


  • All email is retained within the user's account until it is moved to a trash file ("trash") by the account holder.
  • Email remaining in trash for 30 days will be purged automatically from trash.
  • The account holder may immediately purge emails in trash by emptying trash.
  • Email messages purged from trash will be retained within University files for an additional 30 days after the removal to allow recovery by the email system administrator. After that, purged emails will be expunged automatically from the system.
  • Upon request from the Office of General Counsel, a litigation hold may be placed on the contents of a user email account. The hold will also cause any held emails which have not been expunged to be retained until the hold is lifted.
  • The institution will not retain spam email messages that are filtered out by the campus spam filter.

Treatment of Business Records

  • It is the responsibility of those who create and/or receive email messages to assure that messages subject to SUNY retention policies are saved in an official repository of business records.  Please see the records retention, schedule/policies referenced in the "related links" section of this policy.

Retention of Email of Employee Upon Separation

  • In the interests of assuring continuity of business operations, the email accounts of those leaving the employment of Stony Brook University may be retained by the University for up to one year after the employee's separation.


  1. Trash – Email messages which have been placed in the wastebasket.
  2. Purged – Deleted from trash, not visible or restorable by the user. Recoverable by systems administrators. Waiting to be expunged.
  3. Expunged – Completely removed from the system and unrecoverable.


SUNY Policy 6609 "Records Retention and Disposition"

NYS Arts and Cultural Affairs Law Section 57.05

Commissioner's Regulations 8 NYCRR Part 188

Related Links

SUNY Records retention and Disposition Schedule:


RF Record Retention Policy (Visit link below and log in):