Performance Management System

SUNY Excels


Overview of Power of SUNY Refresh Process

The Chancellor and Board of Trustees have asked SUNY leadership for help in determining ambitions for a refresh of The Power of SUNY. Leaders were tasked with reviewing and discussing a set of possible performance indicators as they relate to three particular focus areas: academic excellence, innovation and research, and operational efficiencies. The result of these reports was used to frame discussions at four leadership meetings. Each meeting discussed a select number of indicators, culminating with a thoughtful, in-depth discussion of all indicators at the last meeting. 

After the leadership meetings, and taking into consideration feedback provided at the Presidents Meeting, system leadership reviewed the breadth of metrics discussed, articulated a set of guiding principles, and identified five major organizing ambitions or system-level outcomes. The establishment of these five outcomes led to the creation of a new initiative to drive performance throughout the SUNY system, SUNY Excels. 

Why Performance Management?

SUNY believes that by acting as a system and by adopting best practices from collective impact partnerships, colleges and universities can operate at peak performance and move the dial on meaningful population-level challenges. Through an inclusive process, SUNY has identified five priorities—or system-level outcomes—that we can improve by channeling our collective power:

  1. Access
  2. Completion
  3. Success
  4. Research
  5. Engagement

Because our work occurs locally, system-level outcomes will be translated by campus leadership into campus-level outcomes appropriate to the mission and vision of each SUNY campus. Each of these will be supported by a series of measures and impacted by a set of contextual indicators.

Systemness is defined as “the coordination of multiple components that, when working together, create a network of activity that is more powerful than any action of individual parts on their own.” By holding ourselves accountable with performance metrics identified collectively but implemented locally, we harness SUNY’s ability to improve the lives of every New Yorker in more meaningful and impactful ways than ever before. In essence, we harness The Power of SUNY.

Guiding PrinciplesStudent in Lab at UAlbany

All outcomes and indicators should:

System-level Outcomes

These are collective aspirations for all-system performance. Once the outcomes are defined, indicators or System Measures will be selected to monitor and evaluate progress toward these outcomes. 


Measures are SUNY’s way of holding itself accountable for making progress on each of the system level outcomes.  SUNY campuses have begun this process of accountability by each electing to participate in the Student Achievement Measure (SAM).  Participation in SAM is an important step forward in fulfilling our promises of accountability and openness to SUNY students and their families, and it supports our ongoing efforts to increase completion and success.  A great many of our campuses also participate in the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) and the Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA).  Measures are the system’s gauge of progress and performance. 

To track the system’s progress toward each system-level outcome, a set of measures has been proposed. The goal of SUNY Excels is continued, sustained growth. Each set of measures is the best metrics available as a correlation to the system-level outcome to demonstrate performance. 

‌Campus-level Outcomes

These are the campus translations of system-level outcomes. Each campus will define campus-level outcomes that support the system-level outcomes and match the needs, mission, and intent of their campus stakeholders. 

Contextual Indicators

These are measures that are beyond the control of campuses or the system and may be specific to a campus’ mission. Contextual indicators may positively or negatively influence progress toward the outcomes. 

Campuses: learn more about translating the system-level outcomes into campus-level outcomes.

Strategic Planning