Legal Information

Pertinent Legal Information

Universitywide Policies & Procedures

Counsel’s Office assists System and Campus offices to develop and maintain policy to comply with federal and state law.  Click here to visit the Universitywide Policies and Procedures site, where users can search for policies by number or keyword: SUNY Policies & Procedures

CLE Financial Aid Policy

The SUNY Office of General Counsel is certified to provide CLE in certain legal training and education programs. Some of these programs are free to access and there is no charge for the CLE. For programs that charge a fee, the fee is generally for the overall program (including rental of space, audio visual, and meals) rather than for the CLE itself. The SUNY Office of General Counsel will, upon request, provide discounted or free access to those who wish to obtain CLE but cannot afford the registration cost. Rather than a sliding scale of registration costs, Counsel's Office will either fully waive attendance costs for those who are unemployed or employed but state that they cannot afford attendance and wish to attend for CLE purposes, or to provide a limited waiver (which would include access to legal educational content, but not conference meals). Counsel’s Office reserves the right to request documentation. In a case where the Counsel's Office charges a fee for CLE (such as a fee to process and mail CLE) at an event or webinar that does not charge a registration fee, the Office will waive the fee upon request by those who state that they are unemployed or employed but state that they cannot afford the fee and wish to receive CLE for that session. Individuals may call 518-320-1400 during business hours for assistance.

Exhibits A and A-1

New York State law requires certain terms and requirements in contracts with the State of New York. Certain New York contracts must include Exhibit A and, in some cases, Exhibit A-1, which detail information about New York State legal requirements.  These requirements are pursuant to statute and/or regulation and are not negotiable terms.  The documents are perhaps better thought of as a summary of relavant statute and/or regulation, rather than negotiable terms in and of themselves.  To assist vendors and attorneys contracting with SUNY, we have prepared an annotated Exhibit A and A-1, with links to the relevant statute and/or regulation.

Contracting and Model Contracts

Counsel’s Office reviews System and Campus contracts and agreements and negotiates on behalf of SUNY clients for goods and services. Model documents are available here.

Freedom of Information Law

Counsel’s Office maintains a FOIL Officers ListServ. Designated Campus FOIL Officers who respond to FOIL requests are eligible for membership.
Please e-mail Adeidra Irvin with your name, email address, campus or system, and title to be added to the ListServ.

Clery Act

SUNY Campuses comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and its amendments and regulations. The Federal Handbook for compliance with the Clery Act may be found here.
Counsel’s Office maintains a Clery Act ListServ.  System and Campus employees who are tasked with Clery Act compliance may be eligible for membership.
Please e-mail with your name, email address, Campus or System, and title to be added to the ListServ. The ListServ provides guidance, notices of SUNY Clery Act training opportunities, and answers to questions submitted by ListServ members.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in any education program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. SUNY campuses comply with regulations and guidance issued by the Office for Civil Rights, which enforces Title IX.

Each campus has a Title IX coordinator.  Campus employees with Title IX compliance responsibilities may join the Title IX ListServ operated out of the Office of General Counsel. Please e-mail if you would like to be added to the Title IX ListServ.

Peer-To-Peer File Sharing

SUNY institutions comply with copyright law and with the Higher Education Act. Parts of those laws govern SUNY’s responsibilities in responding to violations of copyright law on our campuses. SUNY and its campuses have been attuned to this issue for many years, and SUNY's Chancellor issued a Memo to Presidents on the matter in 2007. SUNY issued additional guidance on this issue in 2008 and issues guidance on changes.


Every institution that serves as an Internet Service Provider (ISP), including SUNY campuses, must register a designated Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Agent, and must respond to valid DMCA notices. An FAQ prepared by EDUCAUSE that addresses the DMCA requirements and the responsibilities of designated DMCA Agents is available. Provided that a campus has a program and practice of responding to valid DMCA notices, it will maintain a “safe harbor” from actions against the campus for violations of the copyright law.


The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), the 2008 amendment to the Higher Education Act requires that SUNY colleges provide notice regarding illegal file sharing and adopt a written plan to address file sharing at the college. Both the notice and written plan requirements are summarized in a NACUA Note (which should be sufficient for most individuals tasked with compliance), and (for those requiring more information) are treated in more depth in an article in the Albany Law Review.

Campuses must comply with these (and other HEOA) requirements to ensure eligibility for Title IV funding from the Federal government. The Department of Education has the power to conduct a program review and issue fines (or in very extreme cases, remove eligibility for Federal funding).

EDUCAUSE maintains a resource page on this issue which includes links to policies adopted by role model campuses.  EDUCAUSE also maintains a page listing legal sources of online content. A campus would be compliant with the list of legal alternatives requirement of the HEOA by linking to the EDUCAUSE list (which is updated periodically).

Guide to Applied Learning

This Guide to Applied Learning at the State University of New York will assist both members of the State University of New York Office of General Counsel (“OGC”) and their client campus community to meet their needs in implementing SUNY Works, SUNY Serves and SUNY Discovers and TeachNY on their campuses, especially with the issues of contracts, learning agreements, liability, and insurance. The resources available for this are located within the secure portal SUNY Blue, available to campus staff.

Questions beyond the guidance offered here may be addressed to your campus counsel or to

Procedure to Request Representation in Administrative Proceedings

SUNY employees named individually in an administrative proceeding may be eligible to receive representation from the SUNY Office of General Counsel. The procedure for requesting such representation is available in SUNY Procedure: Requesting Representation in Administrative Proceedings, and a model form for requesting such representation is available in the Model Employee Request for Representation.


General Counsel