Information Technology Services – Fred Miller, Chief Information Officer

Last Revised: 08/22/13

Title: Electronically Stored Information Preservation Policy

Applicable: Furman University (Students, Staff, Faculty)

Contacts: IT Service Center ext. 3277

Background: With the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allowing for the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) to be used during the course of litigation, it has become necessary to create a policy that outlines the University’s duty to preserve all ESI that may be relevant during litigation.

Policy: In the event electronically stored information (ESI) is needed for litigation purposes, Furman University will preserve all potentially relevant data until the hold has been terminated.

Guidelines:

  • Faculty or staff members with knowledge of an incident that is likely to lead to litigation should contact either their immediate supervisor/department chair, the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources or the Dean of Faculty to advise them of the potential litigation event. When notified of a possible litigation event, department chairs should contact the Dean of Faculty, and supervisors should contact the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources.
  • The Assistant Vice President for Human Resources or the Dean of Faculty will notify University Counsel of potential litigation events. The Assistant Vice President for Human Resources or the Dean of Faculty will also notify additional President’s Council members of the litigation event as appropriate.
  • University Counsel will work with the Dean of Faculty and the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources to identify faculty and staff involved in the litigation event, and send a preservation notice to each person involved. The preservation notice must be signed and return to either the Dean of Faculty or the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources. If a faculty or staff member fails to respond to a preservation notice, the Dean of Faculty or the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources may take appropriate disciplinary action as directed by University policy.
  • The preservation notice will instruct the recipient to preserve all potentially relevant information on local systems, and inform the recipient of steps being taken to preserve information on university systems. In addition, the preservation notice will advise the recipient that all future email from the recipient created or received on the University’s email system will be copied to a temporary ESI archival system, until the preservation notice is terminated.
  • University Counsel will notify the Chief Information Officer of the litigation event, and each faculty or staff member involved in the event.
  • The Chief Information Officer will advise the Director of Systems and Networks of the potential litigation event. The Director of Systems and Networks will be responsible for:
    • Preserving all ESI on back-up tapes and systems that may be relevant to the litigation.
    • Establishing the temporary ESI archival system for all faculty and staff who receive a preservation notice.
    • Preparing documentation of all relevant preserved ESI.
    • Sending periodic reminders of preservation notices.
  • University Counsel will work with the Dean of Faculty, the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, and Chief Information Officer to determine if third parties or affiliates need to receive a preservation notice.
  • Should the scope of litigation change, University Counsel will work with the Dean of Faculty, the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, and the Chief Information Officer to send supplemental preservation notices.
  • University Counsel will advise the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Dean of Faculty, and Chief Information Officer when the preservation hold is to be terminated. Upon termination of the preservation hold, all information held in the temporary archival systems will be destroyed. Other University data will follow the preservation policies described in the University’s records management policy.
  • The Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and Dean of Faculty will work with the Chief Information to develop a faculty and employee training program on e-discovery and retention obligations, as well as provide for auditing practices to ensure compliance with this policy.

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