senate Bill S5881A

2011-2012 Legislative Session

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

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to higher education
Nov 18, 2011 print number 5881a
amend (t) and recommit to rules
Sep 09, 2011 referred to rules

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

Co-Sponsors

S5881 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8585A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §355, Ed L

S5881 - Bill Texts

view summary

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

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S5881

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
and authorizing the council of each state-operated institution to approve
or reject the appointment of a president for such state-operated
institution

PURPOSE:
To provide that every SUNY institution has its own president and
ensure local community involvement in selecting a leader for college
campuses.

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 amends section 356 of the Education Law to give the college
council of a state university institution, the ability to accept or
reject the board of trustees' appointment for president of that
institution.

Section 3 provides for the immediate effectiveness of the act.

JUSTIFICATION:
New York's state university is unique among large public universities
in the level of autonomy granted to its 64 individual campuses. With
strong, independent leadership, and substantial support and
encouragement from local communities, the most successful of these
colleges have developed a level of specialization in character and
curriculum rarely seen in other public university systems, and which
has helped make SUNY a recognized leader in research and academics.

Recently, the chancellor announced a plan to encourage sharing among
selected campuses, and directed the elimination of the president's
positions at three colleges located in Canton, Morrisville and
Cobleskill, each of which will now utilize a shared presidency with
another college.

While it is critical that SUNY, like every other state agency and
level of government, should strive to maximize its use of taxpayer
and tuition dollars, and find efficiencies that enable it to achieve
its vital mission of helping students succeed, the elimination of the
president's position at each of these three colleges is short-sighted
and ill-advised. There are many other areas where campuses can
realize cost savings without undermining their character and mission,
which would result from this proposal.

The role of a college president is multi-faceted, and crucial to the
success of any institution of higher learning. The president is the


public face of a college campus, serving as chief marketer, advocate
and a key to private fundraising that can enhance a college's ability
to achieve its mission, and a leading figure in the local community.
A successful college-both public and private-is often marked by a
chief executive who is passionate about his or her school's mission
and curriculum, and devotes a significant amount of time and energy
to becoming personally familiar with the campus' student body, as
well as with leaders and individuals in the surrounding community.

Under its current leader, SUNY Canton, for example, has grown 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.

There are very few examples of major public colleges throughout the
nation that employ a shared presidents model-it is not the norm in
leading public university systems. In the few cases where shared
presidencies have been implemented, there is first hand evidence that
such a model can have a negative long term effect on issues like fund
raising, mission-creep, and the ability to maintain a campus' unique,
individual character.

It is alarming that the three colleges selected for this experimental
realignment are all unique in that they represent the only campuses
in the state university system that emphasize an agricultural
curriculum. As the state's leading industry, it is essential that the
state devote sufficient resources and support to ensuring the best
possible academic and practical preparation and training for the next
generation of farmers and agribusiness leaders through its public
university system. The elimination of presidents at these
institutions can be viewed as the public university system abandoning
its long-held role at a time when the industry faces unprecedented
challenges, with deep potential consequences to a vast geographic
area of the state.

The three colleges selected for shared presidency are hardly
proximate, geographically or in mission. While the Canton and Potsdam
campuses are some 12 miles apart, SUNY-IT and Morrisville college,
Delhi and Cobleskill are 40 and 50 miles apart, respectively. Each
college differs significantly in its historic mission from its
proposed partner.

Additionally, the legislation seeks to clarify the rote of individual
campus councils in approving or disapproving the selection of a
college president. While the authority to appoint a college president
would remain with the board of trustees, college councils would be
required to give their assent. This provision would help to promote
stronger bonds between neighbors of colleges that have a major impact
on surrounding communities, academically, culturally and as major
employers.

HISTORY:
New bill.


FISCAL IMPACT:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  5881

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            September 9, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. RITCHIE, VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

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 and authorizing the coun-
  cil  of  each  state-operated  institution  to  approve  or reject the
  appointment of a president for such state-operated institution

  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. Paragraph a of subdivision 3 of section 356 of the education law,
as  amended  by  chapter  552 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as
follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13393-03-1

S. 5881                             2

  a. recommend to the state university trustees candidates for  appoint-
ment by the state university trustees as [head] PRESIDENT of such insti-
tution AND APPROVE OR REJECT ANY APPOINTMENT BY THE CHANCELLOR AND TRUS-
TEES OF A CANDIDATE AS THE PRESIDENT OF SUCH INSTITUTION;
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

Co-Sponsors

S5881A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8585A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §355, Ed L

S5881A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

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

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S5881A

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.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New bill.

FISCAL IMPACT:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 5881--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            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.


 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13393-04-1

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