SUNY Potsdam, Canton Alliance Receives National Recognition


State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher recently announced that the Campus Alliance between SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton has received a national award for its shared services achievements under the leadership of Vice President for Business and Administration Natalie Higley.

The campuses were recently awarded the 2013 Innovation Award by National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).

“The Potsdam/Canton Alliance has become a model of shared services, exemplifying the impact that colleges can have by working together to implement administrative efficiencies and reinvesting savings in services that directly benefit students,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Congratulations to the leadership, faculty, and staff at both campuses on this much deserved national recognition.”

Since Vice President Higley was appointed to oversee the initiative for the Alliance in July 2012, the two campuses have jointly realized more than $900,000 in savings, including:

• $534,400 in personnel costs;
• $150,000 in annual savings for replacement of residential and office furniture by creating a shared Upholstery Shop;
• $224,000 in avoided costs due to rolling out a joint Environmental Health & Safety program;
• $20,000 cost savings by consolidating the centralized printing services; and
• $24,500 in administrative costs by rolling out a joint Procurement Card program.

The campuses now share services in the following areas: Human Resources & Payroll, Environmental Health & Safety, University Police, Compliance, Purchasing, Travel & Expense Management, Accounts Payable, Budget, Sustainability, Information technology and Fleet Management.

In addition, the campuses share the following administrators: Vice President Higley, Chief Information Officer Kyle Brown, Chief of Police John Kaplan; Assistant Vice President for Human Resources Mary Dolan, Environmental Health &Safety Director Calvin Smith, and Veteran’s Affairs Officer Patrick S. Massaro.

As SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam continue to build on their successful administrative alliances, the campuses expect to be able to redirect a minimum of 10 percent of their current administrative budgets back into instruction and student services. Additionally, new and improved services continue to be rolled out as the administrative alliance continues to grow.

“The alliance between SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton has synergistically brought together two unique campuses with distinctly different missions in an exciting new model of cooperation,” said SUNY Vice Chancellor for Financial Services & Chief Financial Officer Brian Hutzley. “These campuses have kept the focus on students and created a new paradigm in administrative operations. Natalie’s leadership in the regard has been impeccable and this award is much deserved.”

Since the launch of SUNY’s shared services initiative in August 2011, campuses in every region have partnered to generate a net savings of more than $20 million over three years. The savings are being reinvested in expanding academic and student services such as increasing course offerings, hiring more full-time faculty, and supporting on-time degree completion.

NACUBO is a membership organization representing more than 2,500 colleges, universities, and higher education service providers across the country and around the world. NACUBO specifically represents chief business and financial officers through advocacy efforts, community service, and professional development activities. The association's mission is to advance the economic viability and business practices of higher education institutions in fulfillment of their academic missions.

About the State University of New York:
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating approximately 468,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs, and more than 1.8 million NYS citizens in professional development and personal enrichment programs, on 64 college and university campuses. There are nearly 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit