Bill S5881A-2011

Requires the state university of NY trustees to appoint a president for each state-operated institution in the state university

Requires the state university of New York trustees to appoint a president for each state-operated institution in the state university.



  • Nov 18, 2011: PRINT NUMBER 5881A
  • Sep 9, 2011: REFERRED TO RULES



TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to requiring the state university of New York trustees to appoint a president for each state-operated institution in the state university

PURPOSE: To ensure each SUNY institution has its own president.

SUMMARY: Section 1 amends section 355 of the Education Law to clarify that one president shall be appointed for each state-operated institution in the state university and will not serve another institution concurrently.

Section 2 provides for the immediate effectiveness of the act.

JUSTIFICATION: Recent sharing of service plans at SUNY campuses have led the Chancellor and the board of trustees to consider sharing of presidents between state university institutions. It is believed that some smaller institutions are capable of being managed by a shared chief administrator. The measure is being touted as cost savings to the system. In reality, this step is short-sighted and will only serve to undermine the financial viability of the individual campuses forced to share a leader.

The Chancellor's efforts to eliminate presidencies, essentially merging proximate, but significantly different colleges, is the antithesis of this plan. However, presidential sharing would unfairly target some of the most unique schools in the state's university system. The current plan for shared presidencies specifically targets colleges that are the foundation of New York's higher education system for agriculture-Canton, Cobleskill and Morrisville-which is not only insensitive, its detrimental to the future of New York's leading industry. The success of the agriculture and technical institutions hinges on a leader who has intimate knowledge of and passion for the school's mission, impact, curriculum, and student body.

Current statute is clearly intended to provide each institution with their own president. Section 355 of the Education law grants powers and duties to the state university board of trustees. Paragraph g of subdivision 2 of that section requires the trustees to appoint a head of each state-operated institution after a recommendation is made by the institution's council.

Furthermore, rules actualized by the state university board of trustees and approved by the regents of the state of New York reinforce the statute's intent. Under Title 8 of New York's Codes Rules and Regulations (NYCRR), section 333.1 states there shall be a Chief Administrative Officer of each institution and that officer shall be designated president. This bill reinforces the statute and

NYCRR by explicitly stating each state university institution has one president who will not serve another institution concurrently.

Time and again New York's university institutions have proven a strong president can positively affect growth in academia and the stature of the institution. SUNY Canton, northern New York's college for technology, health, management and public service has grown under its current president's leadership from a two year school to now offer a number of four year degrees. In January, 2011, Canton moved into their new athletic center and through the leadership of their president, fully funded the construction of new on-campus housing through private donations. This progress would never have been possible without the president's intimate involvement in fostering a strong relationship with Canton's community.

Since the formation of SUNY in 1948, policy makers have worked to create 64 individual schools that provide an array of individualized curriculum and experience at a affordable rate to New York residents. It is important to continue to protect the laws and rules which intend each of the institutions to remain unique and independent.

One of the strengths of New York's state university system is its diverse, dynamic and individual schools. Leadership is the key element to each school's independence, strength, and sustainability. New York has consistently set policy designed to enhance each institution with the most appropriate president for each school. It is critically important to continue to involve our communities in our campuses and use our campuses to grow stronger communities by educating and involving Our youth.



EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5881--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE September 9, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. RITCHIE, VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules -- commit- tee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recom- mitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to requiring the state university of New York trustees to appoint a president for each state- operated institution in the state university THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph g of subdivision 2 of section 355 of the educa- tion law, as amended by chapter 552 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows: g. To appoint the [head] PRESIDENT of each state-operated institution in the state university upon the recommendation made to them by the council of such institution in accordance with the rules and standards established by the state university trustees; or if such recommendation is not made or does not comply with such rules and standards, then to make such appointment as is by them deemed necessary; to prescribe the functions, powers, and duties of the [head] PRESIDENT of each such institution; and to appoint or provide for the appointment of the members of the instructional and administrative staffs, and such other employees as may be necessary, at each state-operated institution upon the recommendation of the [head] PRESIDENT thereof and prescribe or provide for the prescription of their duties. ONE PRESIDENT SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR EACH STATE-OPERATED INSTITUTION IN THE STATE UNIVERSITY. NO INDIVIDUAL SHALL SERVE CONCURRENTLY AS PRESIDENT OF TWO OR MORE STATE-OPERATED INSTITUTIONS IN THE STATE UNIVERSITY. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.


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