senate Bill S3696

2013-2014 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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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to higher education
Feb 11, 2013 referred to higher education


S3696 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง355, Ed L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S5881A, A8585A

S3696 - Bill Texts

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

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

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


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 detri-
mental to the future of New York's leading industry. The success of the
agriculture and technical institutions hinges on a leader who has inti-
mate knowledge of and passion for the school's mission, impact, curric-
ulum, 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 subdi-
vision 2 of that section requires the trustees to appoint a head of each
state-operated institution after a recommendation is made by the insti-
tution'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 stat-
ute'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 presi-
dent. 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 technolo-
gy, 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 athlet-
ic 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

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 impor-
tant no 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 impor-
tant to continue to involve our communities in our campuses and use our
campuses to grow stronger communities by educating and involving Our

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012: S.5881-A


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


                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 11, 2013

Introduced  by Sens. RITCHIE, MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education

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


  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
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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


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