How do you enforce a student data retention policy?

Two things happen which seem uncontrollable:

1). The Registrar’s Office deprovisions user IDs when a student graduates. If the student then is admitted in a graduate program, a new sourcedID is assigned to them even though the User ID is re-enabled. Now the student has undergraduate data in Blackboard Vista which will be decoupled from the User ID by changing the person account SourcedID inside Blackboard Vista to correspond with the new sourcedID in the Student Information System.


2). Every so often an Instructor will accidentally edit a previous coursesite (section level). We keep 4 years worth on the server and keep them available to Instructors for reference. If the coursesite is accidentally edited, the student data for that semester becomes suspect.


I’m thinking about doing section level backups directly after final exams each semester. This involves investment in additional infrastructure and storage, but not so onerous as to make it prohibitive. Again, however, there is a problem. A backup file of a crosslisted section does not have a file name which would facilitate restoring that content if it were ever needed.


Our current data retention policy doesn’t explicitly mention student data, but it is implied that we are saving it, along with everything else, for 4 years.

2 thoughts on “How do you enforce a student data retention policy?

  1. First thing you need to do is reason (using cattle prods, if necessary) with the registrar’s office and help them understand what a stupid, self-destructive thing they’re doing. (Get your alumni services people on your side.) Alternatively, move identity services generally to a department that knows what it’s doing.

  2. One of our Banner developers has questioned why the GOSRID sourcedID are removed from the database during deprovisioning in the first place. If they weren’t removed, no new sourcedID would be generated if the individual’s account were re-activated, and voila! no problem in the course management system. I think we’ll have this in place within a couple of months!

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