The State University of New York is committed to operating with integrity and in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies. The State University of New York has established the Compliance initiative to coordinate SUNY’s numerous existing compliance efforts and act as a resource for the campuses on SUNY’s legal, regulatory, and ethical responsibilities.
The Compliance role is located within the SUNY Office of General Counsel and reports to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and General Counsel.
What’s New to the Compliance Website
The compliance website is continually adding new pages featuring information and resources for the SUNY campuses. Below is a listing of some of the recently added content.
- Clery 2016 Updates:
- The 2016 Clery Handbook: New Developments and Important Changes, URMIA - University Risk Management and Insurance Association White Paper, July 2016, written by SUNY Associate Counsel Joseph Storch, and Andrea Stagg, Deputy General Counsel, Barnard College. Available at: http://tinyurl.com/2016CleryHandbook (July 21, 2016).
- U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, 2016 Edition, Washington, D.C., 2016, https://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/handbook.pdf.
- Table of major and minor changes: http://system.suny.edu/counsel/2016-Clery-Changes/
- MS Word Compare: http://system.suny.edu/media/suny/content-assets/documents/generalcounsel/2011-2016-Compare-of-Handbook-for-Campus-Safety-Security-Reporting.docx
- NYS Ed. Law Article 129-A and 129-B Certification See this page for up-to-date information on complying with the July 1, 2016 deadline. The page includes links to the electronic process set up by the New York State Education Department. On or before July 1, 2016, campuses are required to submit:
- A certification signed by the President attesting compliance with both Article 129-A and 129-B; and
- their Code of Conduct for their campus and specific policies pursuant to the 129-B decennial requirement to file policies showing compliance with Article 129-B.
- Gender Identity Equality - A newly adopted New York State regulation now formally prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender identity and transgender status under the New York State Human Rights Law. The regulations (9 NYCRR §466.13) are effective as of January 20, 2016. The SUNY Compliance webpage on Gender Identity Equality discusses what we know about the new law and its impact.
- NYS Human Rights Law The New York State Human Rights Law is Article 15 of the Executive Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, marital status or disability in employment, housing, education, credit, and access to public accommodations. The law was updated in 2015 to enhance employees’ rights in the workplace, specifically regarding workplace discrimination and the categories of protected classes that employers are now explicitly prohibited from discriminating against. The laws became effective on January 19, 2016. The compliance webpage includes a guidance document detailing the various changes and newly afforded protections under the law.
- Sexual Violence Prevention Resources:
- NEW SUNY Sexual Assault & Violence Resources (SAVR)
SUNY has released a custom “Sexual Assault & Violence Resources (SAVR)” web-based tool to support victims to support victims of sexual assault or interpersonal violence, whether the victim attends a SUNY school or lives in any one of New York State’s communities. Both tools can be customized for use by states and colleges nationally at no cost; and they can be found easily by typing “SUNY SAVR” or any combination of “SUNY Sexual Assault & Violence Resources” into the Google search engine.
- NEW VAWA Customizable Visa and Immigration Resource
This document, a collaborative effort of attorneys and professionals from institutions across the country, is a plain language explanation of visa and immigration options for students who are victims or survivors of sexual or interpersonal violence. The resource is available to SUNY institutions and higher education institutions throughout the country. The resource web site includes two methods for customizing the document with automatic translation into all available languages. Institutions may use the Excel form/spreadsheet or the Google Docs method. Step-by-step instructions are included on the web site.
- A Plain Language Explanation of Distinctions Between the New York State Penal Law and the College Disciplinary Processes: The 2015 NYS legislation creating Article 129-B requires that college or other officials explain differences between the college process and the criminal justice process in addressing sexual and interpersonal violence. To assist public and private colleges across New York State in complying with this requirement, a small team of attorneys got together to develop a uniform, plain-language document that applies generally. The document is intended to help college officials who are working directly with students explain the differences between the criminal justice system and college disciplinary processes and answer questions. The document is available as a user-friendly website. The site includes the text of the cover memo we prepared, the resource table itself, and the options to download the resource (without the cover memo) as a PDF or Word document, so campuses can refine or personalize to their compliance needs.
What's New on the System-wide Policies and Procedures Website
SUNY Compliance Listservs
To join the Compliance listserv, send an e-mail to the Director of Compliance.
In addition, several other Compliance listserv's are maintained in conjunction with particular compliance topics. To join one of these listservs, e-mail the Director of Compliance, who will pass the request along to the appropriate SUNY contact.
Internal Listservs for SUNY Personnel
There are many internal SUNY listservs for the following compliance topics/functions:
- Clery Act Compliance
- Title IX Compliance
- Affirmative Action Officers
- Records Management Officers
- FOIL/ Records Access Officers
- Ethics Officers
- Child Protection Listserv
- Internal Controls Officer Listserv
Title IX and Sexual Violence Prevention
- Title IX and Clery Training Opportunities website
This SUNY website offers information for campuses on all upcoming webinars and live trainings on Title IX, Clery, and Sexual Violence Prevention. The available trainings used to be communicated solely through the Clery and Title IX listservs, but they are now published on the SUNY website for ease of access and sign-up.
- JCOPE Comprehensive Ethics Training - twice every other month
- Upcoming Dates:
- Wednesday, September 14th at 2 p.m.
- Thursday, September 22nd at 10:30 a.m.
- To sign up: Contact your local campus Ethics Officer, usually in the HR department. The information on these modules, and their dates and times, is being communicated to campuses via the campus Ethics Officer.
- Summary of the Training: SUNY System Administration offers JCOPE Comprehensive Ethics Training webinar sessions for State-operated campuses to supplement the JCOPE training that occurs locally at each institution. These sessions are held twice every other month, and are facilitated by the Office of U-Wide Human Resources, the Office of General Counsel, the Compliance Office, and the Office of Information Technology. The goal of these system-wide sessions is to help campuses ensure that their new employees who are required by statute to complete the JCOPE Comprehensive Ethics Training, receive that training in a timely fashion, and in accordance with the statute.
- CLERY - New 2016 Clery Handbook Training - July 25, 1:00 p.m.
- To sign up: Go to the SUNY webpage announcing the training to sign up.
- Summary of the Training: On June 23, the Department of Education issued a new Clery Act Handbook. The Handbook contains new content following upon the 2013 Violence Against Women Act amendments, as well as a number of significant changes to interpretations of the most recent 2011 Handbook. In this webinar, three veteran Clery/Title IX/VAWA attorneys will cover the changes in plain language, discuss some of the practical difficulties in implementation, and describe systems that may make implementation more efficient, and point out resources any college or university can access to aid in compliance. There will be two sessions to allow for scheduling conflicts. Sessions will not be recorded so as to encourage questions (and there will be plenty of time for questions). The training is free and open to the public (and just require brief registration to use the software).
- When Eating an Elephant, Where Do you Even Begin? Risk Management & Compliance Responsibilities on Campus
- To sign up:
- Summary of the Training: Creating a program to systematically tackle the compliance obligations of a college or university cannot be accomplished overnight. But take comfort that there are methods and practices you can utilize that will ease your path towards developing a comprehensive, enterprise-wide program that allows your institution to systematically tackle its compliance risks. This process protects your campus by ensuring employees are proactively managing and mitigating compliance risks in the most efficient and thoughtful way, and allows for campus employees to spend as much time as possible on their core mission. The webinar will:
- Define the growing world of compliance requirements in higher education, as well as the expanding costs of non-compliance.
- Lay out different methods of developing a compliance program, and discuss the pros and cons of various approaches.
- Discuss the dangers of silos, and the need to engage partners across the campus in compliance efforts.
- Develop a plan for continuously building compliance capacity in a strategic way, tailoring it to your institutional structure and needs, and identifying strengths in your campus colleagues that can quickly be turned into compliance structures.
- Find already existing resources so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
- Discuss the importance of ethics within a compliance program.
- Touch on the importance of documentation, benchmarking, tone from the top, training, and assessment as you grow your program.
- This presentation will be appropriate for employees across the campus in all functional areas, whether they are officially charged with compliance, compliance is only a part of their job, or they are part of a team approach to overall or targeted compliance. Everyone should have a sense of why a compliance function is an asset to an institution, not just those facilitating a compliance program directly.
Child Protection Policy Training
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The information contained on the SUNY Compliance website is for general campus guidance only and is not intended, nor can be relied upon, as legal advice or the imposition on SUNY campuses of specific policies or requirements. The site is intended to be an informational-only clearinghouse for some of the laws, rules, and regulations that may impact the State University of New York’s campuses. Additionally, given the rapid, changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be delays or omissions contained on this site which therefore cannot be relied upon as complete. For complete compliance information, consult your campus compliance officials or the SUNY Director of Compliance. For legal advice, consult your lawyer.