Retention Policies (Deprecated)
  • 20 Nov 2023
  • 3 minute read
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Retention Policies (Deprecated)

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  • PDF

Article Summary

Note that new retention policies should be created using the new Retention Policy Tool.

The Retention Policy tool is used to delete or purge data. Reasons to delete data may include:

  • Compliance with state or federal laws such as FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

  • Adherence to institutional Retention Policies developed in conjunction with the institution’s general counsel

  • Batch deletion of data erroneously imported using Upload Dataset

The default retention policy is to keep all data in perpetuity, and all data will be kept until a retention policy item is created to purge specific data.


Use caution. The Retention Policy tool will permanently delete the selected data. Once a Retention Policy is executed, there is no way for the institution or Technolutions to retrieve the deleted data.

Developing Retention Policies

Before configuring Retention Policies in Slate, it is strongly advised to consult and collaborate with additional campus stakeholders to ensure that legal and institutional guidelines are being followed, specifically as they relate to FERPA and other state and federal laws. These stakeholders could include: general counsel, Institutional Research, Registrar, IT and Financial Aid.

Consider creating a test record that contains data in each retention policy item. This will allow for easier testing later in the process to ensure that the data is being deleted as intended.

Configuring Retention Policies

Configure Retention Policies in the production environment. Before executing the policies in production, a refresh of the test environment will be required, followed by executing the policies in Test.

Depending on the specificity of the kinds of data to be deleted, a comprehensive Retention Policy could include several or even dozens of items. Each item must be configured individually.

  1. Select Database on the top navigation bar and select Retention Policies.

  2. Select Insert

  3. Enter the following settings in the dialog box:

    • Status: Only Active items will be evaluated for deletion in the Retention Policy Evaluation System. Unlike a Rule, an "Active" Retention Policy item will not automatically execute. Once it is configured and evaluated, the Retention Policy must be executed administratively.

    • Summary: Enter the descriptive name for the policy item.

    • Source Type: Select the high-level type of source to be deleted (see chart below for detailed description of each type.)

      • Source Filter: For some Source Types, select a high-level Source Filter

      • Source Sub-filter: For some Source Types, select a secondary Source Filter

      • Version History: For Field Source Type, choose to Retain or Delete version history on the update log of the timeline

      • Material Handling: For Material Source Type, choose to delete the entire material or to redact materials and keep record of material receipt

      • Metadata Handling: For Material Source Type with redacted Material Handling, choose to Retain or Delete metadata

    • Created x Days Ago: In addition to the filters below, this setting provides an additional layer of protection to only consider items for deletion that were created more than X days ago. To consider all matching records, regardless of creation date, enter "-1."

    • Filter Base: Select the appropriate filter base and add the desired filters to isolate the particular records for whom the specified data should be deleted.

      Be as specific as possible when selecting filters. For example, instead of selecting a filter for "Active Period," filter on a specific period or round. This will help ensure that future executions of Retention Policies do not inadvertently delete data.

Evaluating a Retention Policy

Once the Retention Policy items have been configured, click on the Retention Policy Evaluation at the top of the Retention Policy tool. The Active items that have been added to the tool will be displayed. For each item, an object count will display exactly how many records will be deleted upon execution of the Retention Policy. A query can be run for each item to ensure that the desired records have been selected.

Although running a query is not required to execute the Retention Policy, remember that once the policy has been executed in the production environment, there will be no way to retrieve the information. It is worth taking some extra time at this point to ensure each policy item is configured as intended.


The instruction box will display the steps required to execute the Retention Policy.

Policy Match Error

Below the instructions will be a Policy Match Error, which precludes a user from executing the Retention Policy in Production, until the instructions above are followed. The Policy Match Error will also be displayed if any updates are made to the Retention Policy in either the Production or Test environments.

Once Confirm Delete is clicked in the Test environment and everything looks as expected, return to the Retention Policy in Production and click Confirm Delete.

The Retention Policy has now been executed and the selected data has been permanently deleted.


If a Time Warp is currently provisioned, Retention Policies will not delete the data in that environment. Take this into consideration when executing Retention Policies and remember that a Time Warp will expire 96 hours after provisioning.

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