Indiana universities allowed to delete public records.

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In Indiana, e-mails are considered to be public records by law, but universities are not subject to the retention rules that govern other public agencies. According to state law, public universities are not required to have a policy, as recently reported by Ball State Daily.

Ball State University, for example, does not have a policy to safeguard e-mail and other public records from being destroyed.

Joan Todd, university spokesperson, says Ball State doesn't have a records retention schedule, but the lack of one doesn't impact how records are kept. The university only has a policy that ensures personnel records, financial information, and travel and attendance records aren't destroyed.

"The university is well aware of the duty to preserve records when, in the regular course of doing business, it is necessary to preserve those records to complete university business or the university is lawfully obligated to do so, such as when records are the subject of litigation," Todd told Ball State Daily.

The issue was sparked when several Indiana news outlets sought copies of e-mails between Ball State's departing president and its trustees. The university said it had no such e-mails between the parties that included any of the proposed relevant keywords.

Gerry Lanosga, president of the Indiana Coalition for Open Government...

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