Principles Regarding the Respective Roles of Central/System Office and SUNY Trustees and the SUNY "State-Operated" Campuses


The State University Trustees (The Trustees) are stewards for the people of New York regarding the operation and performance of the State University of New York (SUNY).

The Trustees, with the advice and counsel of the Chancellor and campus presidents, articulate the mission and vision for SUNY in consultation with the Governor and Legislature, and provide the citizen-volunteer leadership for SUNY.

The Trustees

  • establish general policy for SUNY;
    • consistent with SUNY's mission and vision, determine campus missions, in an interactive process with the campuses;
    • allocate state tax dollars (general fund support) consistent with campus missions and system priorities determined by the Trustees;
    • monitor the performance of the campuses and hold campus officers account- able for that performance;
    • appoint campus presidents, in a joint process with the campus councils, and with appropriate involvement of campus constituencies; and
    • as appropriate, are advocates for SUNY and higher education in the processes through which state taxes are allocated to state purposes. <

    The Chancellor is the chief counselor and advisor to the Trustees regarding their several responsibilities; the Chancellor is the Chief Executive for the Trustees regarding implementation of Trustee policy, the performance of campuses and their officers, and the realization of campus missions; the Chancellor is the professional leader for SUNY.

    Central Office's primary and paramount role is to support the Trustees and Chancellor regarding their respective stewardship and leadership activities.

    Central Office's support functions should be funded solely from SUNY's state tax support.

    Central Office should not be funded to or seek to perform services for campuses except as the Campuses solicit such services and are willing to pay for them from campus tax support or campus-based revenues.


    The state-operated campuses (The Campuses) are the agencies through which SUNY realizes its mission and vision.

    The Campuses perform SUNY's teaching, training, scholarship, creative activity, research, and public service. The Campuses must perform these functions consistent with the missions determined for them through the Trustees' mission-setting process.

    The Campuses receive allocations of tax support from the SUNY Trustees and apply this to the realization of their mission, subject to appropriate audit and oversight by the Trustees and Central Office. The Campuses also apply rev- enues other than tax support to the realization of their missions.

    Substantially all revenues are generated by campus-based activities:

    • Tuition
    • Fees
    • Income fund reimbursable (IFR) accounts-<

    - auxiliary services (e.g., food service)

    - support services (e.g., print shops)

    - continuing education

    - dormitory IFR

    - other (e.g., conferences and special events, etc.)

    • Grants, contracts, and other sponsored programs through the SUNY Research Foundation (RF) or campus-based foundations (e.g., UBF)
    • Philanthropic gifts and grants (primarily through campus-based foundations) <

    All campus-generated revenues should stay at the campuses which generate them and be used to support campus-based activities (e.g., teaching, research, and service).

    The Campuses may purchase services from any appropriate vendor, including Central Office, or may provide such services on campus, as determined by campus officers, consistent with state law. The Campuses should not be required to support Central Office's delivery of services to or for the Campuses, except as the Campuses determine.

    N O T E : These principles are not intended to apply to SUNY's capital budget process or the State University Construction Fund. They should apply, however, to all other SUNY auxiliary corporations.

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