I:  Organization and Governance



The University of the State of New York, as opposed to the State University of New York, is the organization which supervises New York's entire system of elementary, secondary, and higher education. It is governed by a fifteen-member Board of Regents who are elected by the Legislature for terms of fifteen years.

The chief executive officer of the University is the Commissioner of Education, who is appointed by the Regents and administers the State Education Department which oversees all educational policies and practices, public and private, in New York State.


State University of New York (SUNY) is governed by a fifteen-member Board of Trustees, appointed by the Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate. The Governor designates the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board. The Board determines the policies for all State-supported institutions of higher education, with the exception of the senior colleges of the City University of New York. These policies are administered by the Chancellor, the chief executive officer of SUNY, who is appointed by the Trustees for a five-year term. The basic document elaborating the organization and governance of SUNY and its guidelines for policies and procedures is the Policies of the Board of Trustees: www.suny.edu/Board_of_Trustees/PDF/Policies.pdf.

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The State University of New York is unique in its organization and the breadth of its educational mission. It is the largest coordinated, centrally managed multi-level system of public higher education in the nation.

On March 12, 1948, the State Legislature enacted the legislation and the State University of New York came into being on July 1, 1948. At the outset SUNY consisted of 32 colleges which had previously acted independently of each other. They included 11 colleges devoted to teacher education, the core of today's Colleges of Arts and Science; five Institutes of Applied Arts and Sciences, which later became Community Colleges, six Agricultural and Technical Institutes, and five statutory colleges, whose administration is shared with private institutions.

The 50's were devoted to development and organization. Significant achievements included establishment of the Upstate and Downstate medical centers, the Research Foundation of State University and accreditation of the State University as a single institute by the Middle States Association.

The 60's saw the academic and physical growth which was without precedent in education history. State University was reshaped into strong liberal arts institutions; four major university centers, the Stony Brook Health Sciences Center was founded, and the framework for today's 30 locally-sponsored Community Colleges was set into place.

Today, State University of New York stands as an integrated unified system of 64 campuses enrolling nearly 413,000 students. The State University's faculty provide instruction in over 5,650 fields of study leading to 49 different kinds of degrees, from undergraduate certificate and associate degrees up through professional and doctoral degrees.

All 64 campuses of the State University function under the overall authority and responsibility of the University Board of Trustees, subject to the general guidelines of the Board of Regents of the State of New York. Day to day operation of the University is delegated by the Trustees to the Chancellor and staff, known as System Administration who carry out University-wide academic, fiscal, personnel and facilities policy.

The authority of the Board and the Chancellor is absolute over only 29 of the 64 campuses--those which are fully funded and operated by the State of New York. You are employed by one of these campuses and are an employee not only of the State University of New York but the State of New York. The System Administration staff serve you individually in the role of liaison with such offices as the Division of the Budget, Governor's Office of Employee Relations, Department of Civil Service, and the State Comptroller's office. Their role includes implementation of various laws, rules and regulations and development of policies and procedures that allow for a consistent University-wide conformity to mandated requirements.

Each campus is led by a President, who serves as the chief administrative officer, and carries the overall responsibility for operating the campus. Each campus devises its own structures, programs and procedures within the general policies and goals of the University and within its specific mission. Each campus has a 12 member council comprising nine gubernatorial appointees serving seven-year terms and a voting student member who advise the President on local policy matters.

The thirty-eight Community Colleges operating under the program of the State University have their own local college councils. The State contributes one-third to forty percent of the operating costs and one-half of the capital costs.

The State University motto is "To learn, to search, to serve."

The Chancellor is the chief executive officer of the State University of New York and is responsible to the Board of Trustees for those powers, duties and responsibilities assigned.

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SUNY Potsdam has been serving youth and the State of New York for more than a century. With a heritage dating back to the St. Lawrence Academy, founded in 1816, Potsdam traditionally has given emphasis to the importance of liberal arts in the preparation of teachers for the public schools.

The academic program of the College is currently organized around three major schools: The School of Arts and Sciences, with emphasis upon the traditional, historical, liberal education as well as innovative ideas; the School of Education and Professional Studies, which includes programs in primary and secondary education and professional programs to help our students find opportunities in the public world; and the Crane School of Music which has enjoyed national prestige since 1886, particularly in the training of public school music educators. Throughout the three schools, a number of credit programs are available for persons to continue their education. The College also has an extensive program in continuing education, both in credit and non-credit programs of interest to a diversified public.

Potsdam is continually expanding programs for students preparing for a wide variety of professions. Students may select majors and minors from numerous academic areas of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

While location is a definite plus for SUNY Potsdam, the people who make up the College community are its greatest asset. The students, faculty, and staff make us what we are - a very special place.

Traditionally, Potsdam has played a significant role in the culture of Central and Northern New York and offers to students more than 500 distinguished programs annually in music, art, drama, dance, and lectures. Exhibitions by leading artists throughout the year in the campus art gallery receive wide recognition and other programs bring to the campus international leaders in politics, religion, literature, art, drama, dance and music.

The St. Lawrence Academy, which prepared public school teachers, deeded its properties and assets in 1866 to Potsdam Normal School. Potsdam became a teachers college in 1942 and in 1948 became a campus of the State University of New York. The College was authorized to grant masters degrees in 1947 and became a College of Arts and Science in 1962.

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Under general policies determined by the Board of Trustees of the State University, the College Council reviews all major plans of the College which are defined to include plans for the appraisal or improvement of the faculty and other personnel, expansion or restriction of student admissions, appraisal or improvement of academic programs and of standards for the earning of degrees, expansion of institutional plans and appraisal or improvement of student activities and housing.

The Council also makes regulations governing the care, custody and management of lands, grounds, buildings and equipment; reviews budget requests; fosters the development of citizens' advisory committees; names buildings and grounds; makes regulations governing the conduct and behavior of students; prescribes for and exercises supervision over student housing and safety; makes an annual report to the Board of Trustees; makes and amends regulations pertaining to the affairs of the College; recommends to the Board of Trustees candidates for appointment as President of the College; and performs such other duties or implements such powers as may be authorized by the State University Trustees.

The College Council consists of ten members, of whom nine are appointed by the Governor, and one of whom shall be elected by and from among the students of the College. One member is designated by the Governor to serve as Chairperson of the Council. The nine appointed members serve for seven years and receive no compensation for their services. Council members may serve to the completion of their terms regardless of age and may be candidates for reappointment. The Chair of the College's Faculty Senate attends meeting and serves as a representative of the faculty.

The College Council meets at least four times annually. Notice of every Council meeting must be provided to each member at least seven days prior to the meeting unless such notice is waived by a majority of the Council. Resolutions for consideration by the Council must be mailed to each Council member at least seven days prior to the meeting unless the Council Chair makes available in writing on the day of the meeting facts which necessitate an immediate vote.

Councils and committees and subcommittees of a Council are "public bodies" within the meaning of the Open Meetings Law. Accordingly, meetings of these bodies must be preceded by appropriate public notice for public attendance. Executive session may only be convened in accordance with statutory requirements.

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a. Chief Administrative Officer
The chief administrative officer of SUNY Potsdam is the President, who is appointed by the Board of Trustees upon recommendation from the College Council and the Chancellor following consultation with representative staff and the student body.

b. College Administrative Officers and Chairs
College administrative officers are appointed by the President. Chairs of academic departments are designated by the President after consultation with appropriate faculty.

c. College Governance
Consistent with Article X of the Policies of the Board of Trustees, the faculty established bylaws for the democratic governance of the College. The bylaws are given in Appendix I.

d. State University Faculty Senate
The State University Faculty Senate is the agency through which the University Faculty engages in governance at the University- wide level and is funded through System Administration. The source of funds for this central operating account is through an annual assessment of each State-operated campus for each Senator representing the institution. In addition each campus supports its Senator(s)' travel to all of the Senate's plenary sessions from local campus funds.

SUNY Potsdam is represented on the Faculty Senate by one senator and an alternate, elected by the faculty. The Faculty Senator is also a member of the Faculty Senate of the College during his/her term as Senator.

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e. United University Professions (UUP)
The New York State "Public Employees Fair Employment Act", popularly known as the Taylor Law, grants public employees the right to bargain collectively with their employers. The approximately 17,000 academic and professional employees at the twenty-nine State-operated SUNY campuses (and System Administration) serve in the Professional Services Negotiating Unit of SUNY; United University Professions (UUP) is the elected bargaining agent for the Unit. UUP is affiliated with the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the State and National AFL-CIO. Information about UUP dues, agency fees, and membership benefits may be obtained from the UUP office on campus.

A copy of the "Agreement between the State of New York and the United University Professions, Inc." (hereafter called the Agreement) may be viewed at: http://goer.ny.gov/Labor_Relations/Unions_Units/uuppsnu.cfm. According to Article XIX of the Policies of the Board of Trustees and Article 5 of the Agreement, in the event that the provisions of the Agreement differ from the provisions of the Trustees regulations, the provisions of the Agreement shall be controlling.

f) Organizational Chart and Statement of Administrative Responsibilities
Refer to Appendix II for the College's organizational chart and to Appendix III for brief descriptions of the administrative responsibilities within the College.

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For more information, please contact the Office of Human Resources, Assistant Vice President Mary Dolan
or e-mail: dolanmk@potsdam.edu.