State University of New York (SUNY) Governance
All 64 campuses of SUNY 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. The Board of Trustees delegates administration of the University to Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and her staff, known as the System Administration, which implements University-wide academic, fiscal, personnel, and facilities policies. The System Administration serves as liaison between the campuses and such State offices as the Division of the Budget, the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, the Department of Civil Service, and the Office of the State Comptroller.
Campus Presidents and College Councils
Each campus president serves as the chief administrative officer with overall responsibility, authority, and accountability for the campus. Each campus devises its own structures, programs, and procedures within the general goals and policies of the University and within its specific mission.
Each State-operated campus in the SUNY system has its own College Council, which consists of 10 members, nine appointed by the governor and one elected by and from the students on the campus. The governor designates one member as chair. Council members appointed by the governor serve for a term of seven years. Councils also shall invite a representative of the faculty and a representative of the alumni to attend regular meetings of the Council. The statutory powers and duties of College Councils are described in Article 8, Section 356 of the New York State Education Law.
University Faculty Senate
The SUNY Board of Trustees approved the creation of the University Faculty Senate (UFS) on October 8, 1953. Article VII of the Policies of the Board of Trustees states “the Senate shall be the official agency through which the University Faculty engages in the governance of the University. The Senate shall be concerned with effective educational policies and other professional matters within the University.”
Senate membership consists of the chancellor of the university, two university representatives having university-wide responsibilities, and representatives from each state-operated unit and contract college. This is a total of 33 SUNY colleges, making the University Faculty Senate one of the largest faculty governance organizations in the country.
The SUNY Student Assembly, created by Article XVII of the Policies of the Board of Trustees, is the official organization through which SUNY students participate in the governance of the university.
Purchase College Senate
The College Senate and its standing committees function as the representative decision-making bodies of the college, embracing processes of shared governance, whereby faculty, staff, administrative, and student representatives formally and openly communicate, share responsibility, and take cooperative action on matters of importance to the college. Information on the College Senate, including its Articles of constitution and operation is available on its SharePoint site (log-in required).
- Function and Responsibilities
- The College Senate and its standing committees function as the representative decision-making bodies of the college. Members of the Senate and all Senate standing committees shall act in the interests of the college as a whole.
- The College Senate shall have primary responsibility for issues and policies that have campus-wide implications, as well as system-wide State University of New York initiatives.
- In exercising its general powers and responsibilities, the College Senate shall, among other things:
- Apportion the business of the Senate to the appropriate standing committees of the Senate, and provide direction on issues to consider or recommend parameters for discussion.
- Appoint ad hoc and sunsetting task groups as needed for consideration of matters not appropriate to the standing committees of the Senate.
- Monitor the responsibilities of all standing committees specified under these articles and be informed of the operations of all such committees.
- Receive policy change recommendations from such committees and act on them, and initiate recommendations to such committees where appropriate. Specifically, the College Senate shall accept reports, recommendations, and resolutions from all Senate standing committees or may refer a matter back to a standing committee for further consideration, given issues raised by the College Senate during its deliberations.
- In its capacity as the primary consultative body of the college, the College Senate shall also be kept informed of the proceedings of all other college-wide committees (except labor-management committees) and shall receive from such committees notice of actions and recommended changes prior to their implementation.
- The Faculty at Large (F@L) is a body of the whole, comprised of the voting faculty (as defined in the Faculty Bylaws). As specified by the Policies, the voting faculty have a primary responsibility for developing and implementing educational, curricular, and personnel policies, and for defining and participating in the administration of academic and professional standards, including teaching, research, and creative activity of the college. To facilitate its work, the F@L have established four standing committees that are responsible to the College Senate through the F@L: Educational Policies, Personnel Policies, Professional Standards and Awards, and Academic Standards and Awards. The Faculty Bylaws are available on its SharePoint Site (log-in required) and on the College Policies site.
Recognizing its primary responsibility for campus governance, the Faculty may establish a College Senate (or other body) to implement a system of campus-wide representation. The Faculty shall have the responsibility to establish or amend the bylaws governing that body, or to approve amendments coming from that body. The current College Senate was established in this way by the Faculty in 2015. Establishment or revision of the College Senate Articles by the Faculty shall require a two-thirds majority of the votes cast to take effect.
- The Budget Planning Committee (BPC) shall function as an advisory body to the president and chief financial officer of Purchase College for budgetary matters on behalf of the entire college community, providing an inclusive public forum for the development, discussion, and evaluation of budgetary issues and processes.
- The Strategic Planning and Assessment Committee (SPAC) shall monitor and assess progress towards institutional goals and implementation of Middle States recommendations, maintain a comprehensive knowledge of the college’s strategic and institutional assessment plans, processes, and reports, and communicate this information regularly to internal and external constituencies, provide recommendations on strategic initiatives under consideration by the college, and participate in the development of new strategic plans and serve in an advisory capacity to the Middle States Self-Study Committee. At Purchase College, the strategic plan provides the institutional knowledge and foresight that enables the college to respond creatively to institutional benchmarks (i.e., SUNY and Middle States timelines, standards, policies, and best practices), reprioritization, and future challenges (e.g., changing demographics, SUNY Initiatives).
- The Instructional Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) will provide advice and consent on all matters relating to the integration of technology throughout the curriculum that have college‐wide implications, such as: adoption of new services, hardware and software to support teaching and learning; development of physical and virtual learning spaces; promotion of faculty development in the use of instructional technology; support for campus communications about new instructional technology tools; assessment of the impact of instructional technology; and advisement on the use of all funds for academic technology.
- The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) will focus on issues of governance pertaining to diversity within the curriculum, student body, and personnel of the college. Concentrating on access, composition, community development, multicultural education, and student success, this committee will develop, implement, and recommend initiatives to foster diversity throughout the institution. This committee will also review the functions mandated by SUNY internal grievance procedures and policies and assist with the recruitment and training for tripartite panels.
- The Staff Affairs Committee will advocate for the professional (unclassified) and classified staff on issues and challenges related to staff development, mentorship, training, and acknowledgement. The committee will ensure that staff input will be collected and reflected in college-wide decisions and policies, including department reorganization and staffing, supervisor training, strategic and budget planning, and institutional assessment. (Note: The Professional Staff Council, a body not officially part of the union or this committee, will continue to provide a forum for discussion of common areas of concern among professional staff and will continue to provide opportunities for professional development through the coordination and administration of Professional Staff Council Professional Development Grants.)
The Purchase College Professional Staff Council brings professional employees into meaningful association in order to participate in the governance of the college, actively influence the decision-making process of the college for both immediate and long-range issues, provide a forum for discussion of common areas of concern among professional employees, provide opportunities for personal and professional growth and development, and collaborate with the campus chapter of United University Professions (the union), human resources, and faculty senate on common interests.
The purposes of the Professional Staff Council shall be to bring professional employees into meaningful association in order to:
- Participate in the governance of the college.
- Actively influence the decision-making process of the college, both for immediate and long-range issues.
- Provide a forum for discussion of common areas of concern among professional employees.
- provide opportunities for personal and professional growth and development.
- Collaborate with the union, human resources, and faculty senate on common interests.
- Represent, advocate, and further the interests and welfare of the students of Purchase College.
- Ensure that all students have equal access, are served fairly and treated appropriately as regards to the Nondiscrimination Policy (Article IV).
- Promote the active involvement of students in the governance of the college.
- Secure and protect the greatest possible freedom of action for all PSGA-recognized groups.
- Secure and protect the greatest possible freedom of action for all members of the PSGA, regardless of GPA, major, year, and disciplinary status.
- Provide a central clearinghouse of information for all students.
- To manage funds brought in by the mandatory Student Activity Fee, and any additional sources, in the interest of the student body.