(Updated April 2009)


The State University of New York was established in 1948 by an act of the State Legislature.  It comprises 64 individual campuses which are decentralized in location and administration and diversified in curricula.  The public institutions of higher education in New York are the State University of New York and the City University of New York.


Board of Trustees

The overall direction of the State University is the responsibility of a 16-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor (and confirmed by the State Senate) who also designates the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.  A student member of the board serves ex-officio.

System Administration

A System Administration staff, headed by the Chancellor of the University, functions under the Board of Trustees and is located in the University’s system offices in Albany.  Each unit of the State University is headed by its own chief administrative officer and functions under the direction and leadership of the System Policy Administration staff.  The Chancellor also has offices in New York City located at 33 West 42nd St.


In addition to the Board of Trustees, which is charged with the responsibility for overall policy direction of the University, the Governor appoints a College Council for each campus.  The Council consists of ten members, nine of whom are appointed by the Governor and one who is elected by and from among the students of the institution. In accordance with statutes and policies established by the State University of New York Board of Trustees, this Council advises the President on the operations and affairs of the campus. They also serve an essential role in the selection of the College President. The members of this Council receive no compensation for their services.

Faculty Senate*

The Faculty Senate of the State University of New York is the official unit through which the University faculty engages in the governance of the University.  The Senate works to promote effective educational policies and other professional matters within the University.  The Senate is composed of the Chancellor of the University, two University representatives having University-wide responsibilities and one to four representatives from each campus of the University, depending upon the number of full-time professional staff.  The professional staff of each unit elects its own representatives and alternates from a slate of two or more candidates nominated by secret ballot, by majority vote, or by an elected Faculty Nominating Committee.  The term in office for each unit representative is three years.

The Faculty Senate has the following standing committees:

            Executive Committee
            Student Life Committee
            Graduate Academic Programs & Research
            Undergraduate Programs & Policies
            University Programs and Awards

Ad Hoc Committees are established as necessary.

Regular meetings of the Faculty Senate are held at least three times a year at a time and place designated by the Executive Committee.  Special meetings are called as necessary


*SUNY Board of Trustees Policies, Article VII

April 2009: Reviewed and approved by the Faculty Executive Committee and the President