Faculty Handbook, 2022-2023
Click the printer icon in the top right corner of this page to save a PDF.
Click the printer icon in the top right corner of this page to save a PDF.
Part 1: University at Albany Organization, Leadership and Governance
Part 2: Laws, Regulations, and Policies Governing Faculty
Part 3: Academic Resources for Faculty
Part 4: Other University Resources
As valued members of the faculty of the University at Albany, you contribute daily to the excellence of our academic offerings and the significant advancements in research and scholarship. We are grateful for your continuing efforts, as well as your goodwill and energy on behalf of our students, the University community, and your disciplines.
This Faculty Handbook is designed to guide and support you as fulfill these roles. As you know, the University is subject to the regulations and oversight of various governmental and nonprofit entities. This Handbook is an accessible and comprehensive summary of the most relevant and important regulations, opportunities, policies, and procedures that may impact your efforts.
In this document you will find relevant references from the following sources:
University at Albany policies and procedures
State University of New York Board of Trustees
New York State Board of Regents, New York State Education Department
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
New York State laws, codes, rules, and regulations
Federal laws and regulations
SUNY Research Foundation, University at Albany Foundation, and University Auxiliary Services
Each policy is linked to its source document where detailed information and further resources are provided. If you have suggestions with respect to this document, please feel free to share them with Christine Wagner, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development, at [email protected].
Again, thank you for all that you are doing to support our academic enterprise.
Carol H. Kim
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
The University at Albany is designated as a “University Center” within the State University of New York (SUNY) System. The SUNY system is led by an 18-member Board of Trustees and the Chancellor. The Board’s membership includes 15 appointees of the New York State Governor with consent of the New York State Senate; the president of the Student Assembly, serving as student trustee; and the presidents of the University Faculty Senate and Faculty Council of Community Colleges, who serve as ex-officio trustees.
The Chancellor is the chief executive officer and is responsible for developing and promulgating SUNY-wide policies adopted by the Board of Trustees, coordinating the SUNY-wide budget process, overseeing academic planning, and directing statewide programs for the educationally disadvantaged.
All institutions within SUNY, including the University at Albany, are governed by the Policies of the Board of Trustees. References throughout this document to the Policies of the Board of Trustees are to the January 2022 version. Review all State University of New York Policies of the Board of Trustees.
The University at Albany has a rich history dating back more than 175 years. Founded in 1844 as a Normal School to train teachers for a rapidly growing population, Albany was the state’s first public institution of higher education. The Normal School gradually changed to a four-year program, and in 1914, officially became known as the New York State College for Teachers. The College for Teachers focused exclusively on training secondary school teachers, but within the context of a liberal arts curriculum. By 1962, the College earned national distinction, joined the emerging State University system as one of SUNY’s four University Centers, and became a broad-based public research university.
Today, the University at Albany is a public R1 Doctoral University, enrolling nearly 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students on three campuses in the Capital Region.
In its 2018 Strategic Plan, the University further confirmed its mission to include serving as “… an engine of opportunity. Fueled by our unique mix of academic excellence, internationally recognized research, and world-class faculty, we relentlessly pursue possibilities, create connections, and open opportunities—locally and globally—with a single-minded purpose: To empower our students, faculty, and campus communities to author their own success. This is the University at Albany.”
The University is a diverse campus community that includes faculty, staff and students from across the United States and all over the world, representing 100 nationalities and a wide array of cultures and religions. We believe our diversity is a significant strength. Our University is committed to fostering a diverse community, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment, and access to services, programs, and activities, without regard to an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction.
The University at Albany is chartered by the Board of Regents of New York State, which has registered all University’s degrees and programs and fully approved its professional programs through the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
The University at Albany has maintained continuous accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) since 1938.
UAlbany is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools in the U.S.
UAlbany also holds specialized program accreditation from the following accreditors:
American Chemical Society
American Library Association
American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP)
Council on Education for Public Health
Council on Social Work Education
Master’s in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council
National Association of School Psychologists
Network of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
Planning Accreditation Board
The University at Albany administration is headed by the President, who is joined by the Vice Presidents and other members of the Executive Council in providing leadership and direction. Review the University's full organizational chart.
The University at Albany administration is divided into seven major administrative units:
President, which includes the following units:
Athletic Administration and Intercollegiate Athletics
Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness
Diversity and Inclusion
Academic Affairs, which includes nine academic Schools and Colleges:
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy
School of Criminal Justice
School of Business
School of Education
School of Public Health
School of Social Welfare
The division of Academic Affairs also includes the Graduate School, University Libraries, Honors College, academic support services and administrative units.
Each state-operated campus of the SUNY system has an oversight Council, appointed by the Governor. This body is mandated by Article 8, Section 356 of the New York State Education Law, which provides for the establishment of a local council to supervise the operations and affairs of each state-operated institution of the State University. Nine of the ten Council members are appointed by the Governor of New York, and a student member is elected by the students. Ex-officio members of the Council are a representative of the University Senate, the President of the Alumni Association, and a graduate student designated by the Graduate Student Association. Learn more about the University Council.
The governance of all institutions of the State University of New York is outlined in the State University of New York Policies of the Board of Trustees:
Article VI describes the composition of the voting faculty
Article VII establishes the University Faculty Senate of the State University of New York
Article IX describes the officers of the institutions
Article X describes the voting faculty of the institutions
The institution’s Faculty is responsible for the development of the University’s educational program and for the conduct of the University's instructional, research and service programs, subject to the provisions of the New York State Education Law and as outlined in Article X of the Policies of the Board of Trustees. Review the Faculty Bylaws of the University at Albany.
The University at Albany’s University Senate is a consultative body of academic, library and professional faculty and student senators. Led by the Chair of the Senate and the Senate Executive Committee, the Senate is responsible for advancing UAlbany’s academic mission through shared governance.
Following are several 501-3(c) affiliated organizations designed by their charters to serve the interests of the State University of New York and/or exclusively the University at Albany.
The Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY RF) is the System’s research administration organization, managing research expenditures approaching $1 billion annually. SUNY RF is a private non-profit education corporation that is tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c) (3). The relationship between The State University of New York (SUNY) and SUNY RF is formalized in the “Agreement Between State University of New York and The Research Foundation of State University of New York” (1977).
University Auxiliary Services (UAS) is a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of services to enhance campus life. UAS oversees 15+ areas of services, primarily by securing and managing local and national contracts. These services include:
UAlbany ID Card Management
Banking and ATM
Resource Support to the University (Program Funds, etc.)
Fiscal Agent for a variety of University-related organizations
Payroll and Benefit Administration for Student Association, Foundation, Alumni Association, Graduate Student Association and Dippikill
Other student life support such as laundry, property insurance, micro-fridge rentals, etc.
The University at Albany Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organized for the purpose of administering philanthropic contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other organizations in support of activities and programs of the University at Albany. Responsibility for governance of the Foundation is vested in an independent Board of Directors, comprised of alumni, community, and University representatives. The Executive Director of the Foundation reports regularly to the Board of Directors, is responsible for the management of all funds in its accounts and is committed to ensuring their proper stewardship.
Part of the Foundation, the University at Albany Bioscience Development Corporation is a non-profit corporation whose sole member is the University at Albany Foundation and whose mission is to oversee and operate the property in Rensselaer, NY, which houses the University’s Health Sciences Campus.
The Alumni Association of the University at Albany is a non-profit organization that seeks to foster a mutually beneficial relationship between the University and its alumni to perpetuate a sense of pride in, and commitment to, the outstanding qualities of the University and the education it provides. It also works to promote, in partnership, a positive image of the University and its alumni through communication, service and leadership.
Empire Commons Student Housing, Inc. is a separate not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation under the laws of the State of New York. Its purpose is to provide student housing and related services for students at the State University of New York at Albany. The Corporation is governed by a three-member Board of Directors and the sole member is the President or Interim President of the University. The corporation is operated under a Facilities Management Agreement in which University services are contracted to provide for the operation, maintenance and management of the Corporation.
The Student Association is a separate non-profit entity whose mission is to serve undergraduate students and fund and oversee clubs and other undergraduate student activities and services.
This Section provides a summary and references to key federal, New York State, State University of New York, and University at Albany policies related to ethical conduct and legal and fiscal compliance obligations of faculty in the performance of teaching or research responsibilities. Additional more general campus policies that affect faculty can be found in Section E of this Handbook.
Faculty members, as teachers, scholars, administrators, colleagues, and community members, have special responsibilities by virtue of the diverse roles they assume in their professional and personal lives. The following statement sets forth general principles intended to serve as a guide for faculty as they fulfill their professional responsibilities.
Article I. Faculty, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end they devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competencies. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although they may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.
Article II. As teachers, faculty encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly standards of their disciplines. They demonstrate respect for the student as an individual, and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. They make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation of students for private advantage and acknowledge significant assistance from them. They protect students' academic freedom. Evaluation of students and the award of credit must be based on academic performance professionally judged and not on matters irrelevant to that performance.
Article III. As colleagues, faculty have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. They respect and defend the free inquiry of their associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas they show due respect for the opinions of others. They acknowledge their academic debts and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. They accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institutions.
Article IV. As members of their community, faculty have the rights and obligations of any citizens. They measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subjects, to their students, to their professions, and to their institutions. When they speak or act as private persons, they avoid creating the impression that they speak or act for their colleges or universities. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, faculty have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.
(University Senate Bill No. 8586-17)
Article XI Title I of Policies of the Board of Trustees states: "It is the policy of the University to maintain and encourage full freedom, within the law, of inquiry, teaching and research. In the exercise of this freedom faculty members may, with- out limitation, discuss their own subject in the classroom; they may not, however, claim as their right the privilege of discussing in their classroom controversial matter which has no relation to their subject. The principle of academic freedom shall be accompanied by a corresponding principle of responsibility. In their role as citizens, employees have the same freedoms as other citizens. However, in their extramural utterances employees have an obligation to indicate that they are not institutional spokespersons."
Effective July 8, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul transitioned the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“JCOPE”) into the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government. This new Commission maintains oversight over both the Executive and the Legislative Branches of the State Government. SUNY is part of the Executive Branch.
The standards of ethical conduct applicable to employees of State University are contained in Section 74 of the New York State Public Officers Law.
These standards govern employees of the University in the following areas:
Other employment which will impair independence of judgment in the exercise of official duties.
Disclosure of confidential information gained by reason of official position or authority to further personal interests.
Use of official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for employee or others.
Engagement in any transaction as representative or agent of the state with any business entity in which there is a direct or indirect financial interest
Personal investments which will create substantial conflict between duty in the public interest and private interest.
The University at Albany, through the offices of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Office of General Counsel, and The Research Foundation for The State University of New York, can assist employees in addressing issues of compliance. It is recommended that any question be directed to the Office of Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance, or the appropriate Vice President in advance of engaging in such activity.
New York State Civil Service Law Section 62 requires that professional employees take an oath of office, or make a statement in lieu of oath, for each position held. Employees must certify that they have received and read the applicable sections of the Public Officers Law and that they will conform to the norms of conduct for State employees. Review the Oath of Office.
As noted above, the New York State Public Officers Law prohibits any employees of the State of New York from using their "official position to secure unwarranted privileges;" and the Research Foundation Conflict of Interest Statement prohibits use of one's position "to secure privileges or exemptions for himself or herself or others." To safeguard against such conflicts of interest, University employees must abide by applicable laws of the federal government, the standards and Code of Ethics embodied in the New York State Public Officers Law, and the Research Foundation Conflict of Interest Statement.
In particular, faculty, staff, and administrators should avoid transactions in their official capacity with any person or organization from which they are likely to benefit financially or appear to benefit personally. If a transaction with such organizations or individuals will serve the purposes of the University, employees should disclose their interest and ask that an administrative superior in the University review and handle the matter.
For further information or assistance in evaluating possible conflicts of interest, contact the Office of Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance.
Conflicts of commitment are situations in which University employees’ external activities, however valuable in themselves, nevertheless interfere with their obligations to the University. As provided in The Policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York Article XI, Title H, #4, "No employee may engage in other employment which interferes with the performance of the employee's professional obligation."
Outside activities, therefore, must not interfere with the employee's full responsibilities to the University, and faculty members and other employees must conduct them at times other than those required to meet their professional obligation to the University. Employees whose obligation includes presence during regular work hours must obtain prior approval for such activity from the appropriate Dean or Director and must charge the time to leave accruals if there is remuneration.
If a University employee undertakes outside work for an agency of the State of New York, policies relating to Extra Service Employment apply. Prior approval is required for any state employee to be on two state payrolls of the State of New York. Learn more about the Extra Service Policy.
When a University employee participates in a consulting arrangement, extramural employment, or a venture which has a substantial programmatic relationship to the University, the use of University personnel, resources, or facilities is allowed only with prior approval by the appropriate Dean or Director of the University and the Vice President for Research, and through proper arrangements consistent with the University's fiduciary responsibilities to the State of New York and the Research Foundation for SUNY. This requirement applies particularly to the use of University facilities by the private sector. The conditions of such use are incorporated into the University's Guidelines for Faculty Involvement in Private Ventures Involving Proprietary Work Carried Out on Campus (University Senate Bill No. 8283-26), SUNY's Policy on Use of University Facilities, and SUNY's Policy and Guidelines for the Use of State University Facilities by Emerging Technology Enterprises.
Use of University equipment by external concerns is permitted under the conditions outlined in the Campus Guidelines for University-Private Sector Cooperative Use of University Research Equipment (University Senate Bill No. 8384-12) and the State University Board of Trustees Resolutions 82-159 and 56-88, as amended by Resolution 79-158. An agreement allowing such external use is required and must be executed through the University Controller’s Office.
When a University employee participates in a consulting arrangement, extramural employment, or venture which has no officially approved relationship to the University, the use of University resources of any kind is prohibited. This ban includes space, equipment, computer resources, supplies, personnel services, and University stationery to ensure the absence of any implication of University sponsorship or approval of the activity.
Access to IT resources is essential to the University at Albany’s mission of teaching, research, and service. All members of the campus community must abide by the University’s Responsible Use of Information Technology Policy. This compels all users to protect and maintain the security, integrity and confidentiality of all institutional systems, and the data stored on them, in a manner consistent with all legal requirements and University and SUNY policies.
By logging into University systems, individuals agree to the terms of the University’s Authorized Use of Computing Systems agreement.
Any income generated from any activity or program that is sponsored by or identified with the University, as well as payment for use of University personnel, equipment, or facilities, must be managed in a way that ensures full accountability by the University or an affiliated entity both for fiscal integrity and program quality. All revenue generated through sponsored research programs must be deposited and accounted for in a Research Foundation account and all gift solicitation activity revenue in a University at Albany Foundation account. For all other revenue sources, funds must be deposited and accounted for in a University or affiliated entity account which must be established for that specific purpose. Learn how to establish accounts to accommodate the receipt of such.
Furthermore, contingent on the revenue generating activity, a contract may be required and if the value of the engagement is over $25,000, it will require an approval from the New York State Office of the Comptroller and Attorney General. Learn more about revenue contracts.
To ensure the University is in compliance with state and federal lobbying rules, all departments and units must contact the Office of Government and Community Relations prior to any written or verbal communications with public officials relating to University interests. This also maximizes the positive impact of advocacy efforts at all levels by coordinating in a way that supports our institutional priorities.
The office also coordinates the tracking and reporting of all lobbying activities and expenditures, as is required by law. Access the disclosure form.
As part of an overall reform of the NYS Ethics Law, the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 (PIRA) calls, among other things, for the creation and maintenance of a database by the NYS Office of General Service to collect information from state agencies of substantive interactions between state decision makers and those seeking to influence the decisions made by the state decision makers (Project Sunlight).
The University is required to report appearances with outside parties within five business days of the appearance. A reportable appearance is one that involves a "substantive interaction" between the University and an outside party. A "substantive interaction" is one meant to impact decision-making and is before a decision-maker or one who advises the decision-maker. The interaction can be in-person or by video conference. Letters, e-mails, faxes and phone calls are not considered to be interactions for the purposes of Project Sunlight. For the University, Project Sunlight generally is associated with interaction with vendors used in the University procurement process.
Subject to various conditions, Section 17 of the New York State Public Officers Law provides that the State, through the Office of the Attorney General, will defend State employees in any civil action or proceeding commenced in any state or federal court arising out of any alleged act or omission which occurred, or is alleged to have occurred, while the employee was acting within the scope of their public employment. State employees may be entitled to be represented by private counsel of their choice, at State expense, if the Attorney General determines that representation by the Attorney General’s Office would be inappropriate, or when a court determines that a conflict of interest exists between the State and the employee.
Section 17 further provides that the State of New York will indemnify its employees in the amount of any judgment rendered or settlement reached with respect to any such civil action or proceeding, provided that the act or omission complained of arose within the scope of the employee’s public employment and assigned duties and permissions. The duty to indemnify does not arise where the injury or damage complained of resulted from intentional wrongdoing on the part of the employee. For further information, contact the Office of General Counsel at 518-956-8050.
This Section provides a summary and references to policies related to the employment – hiring, promotion, and benefits – of faculty members at the University at Albany.
Appointments to the faculty are governed by the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees and the Agreement between United University Professions and the State of New York.
The Policies provide for three types of appointment:
Temporary Appointment: A temporary appointment is an appointment that may be terminated at any time. Temporary appointments ordinarily are given when service is to be part-time, voluntary, or anticipated to be for a period of one year or less. (Article XI, Title F)
Term Appointment: A term appointment is an appointment for a specified period of not more than three years, which can be renewed or will automatically expire at the end of that period (unless terminated earlier because of resignation, retirement or non-renewal). Full-time employees in term appointments are entitled to one year’s notice of non-renewal after two years of service; part-time employees in term appointments are entitled to at least 45 days’ notice of non-renewal. (Article XI, Title D). Part-time lecturers are entitled to term appointment status after four consecutive semesters of service in temporary status.
Continuing Appointment: Continuing appointment is SUNY’s designation for tenure for academic and library faculty. A continuing appointment is an appointment to a position of academic rank (i.e., normally Associate Professor/Librarian or Professor/Librarian) that is not affected by changes in rank (e.g., due to promotion) and that continues until resignation, retirement, or termination. (Article XI, Title B).
Academic faculty searches are authorized annually by the Provost based on recommendations from the school/college/library Deans. Searches are conducted in accordance with established University procedures.
At the conclusion of a search, with Office of Diversity and Inclusion clearance, the Dean proposes specific terms of appointment to the Provost. With the Provost’s concurrence, the terms are incorporated into an official offer letter from the Provost, who acts on behalf of the President for all full-time tenure-track appointments except those requiring visa or other immigration certifications. The offer letter, once accepted, serves as the official statement of commitments for the hire.
Full-time academic appointments normally commence on September 1. Initial appointments are typically on a term basis for three years and renewable in accordance with the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees Article XI Title H and the applicable Agreement between United University Professions and the State of New York. (UUP is the bargaining unit for all academic and professional employees).
While the appointment year begins on September 1 (Article XI, Title H), the academic faculty obligation commences with the first day of fall semester classes, which may occur during the final week of August, and continues until the end of the academic year (not to exceed 10 months). New faculty may also participate in events and programs prior to the beginning of classes – e.g., faculty retreat, new faculty orientation, etc.
The Work/Time Allocation Model is a framework for the full-time academic faculty obligation across the traditional areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. The model constitutes guidelines for faculty and academic managers alike to formalize prevailing best practices and to attest fairness and equity of faculty workload across the University. As such, these guidelines identify a methodology for modifying expected responsibilities in one or more of the functions normally expected of full-time, tenured faculty members because of increased or reduced activities or assignments in other areas.
Policies related to the evaluation and promotion of academic and professional employees can be found in Article XII Title A of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees.
There are three major points in the academic career path for evaluating academic faculty for renewal and/or promotion.
Academic faculty are evaluated for renewal at regular intervals during their “probationary” period of employment (i.e., six years for assistant professor, two years for associate or full professors).
Barring time in qualified rank or other extensions of the “probationary” period of employment, academic faculty are reviewed for continuing appointment (tenure) in the sixth year of employment; assistant professors reviewed for continuing appointment are also evaluated for promotion to associate professor.
Following successful review for continuing appointment faculty are eligible for evaluation for promotion to higher academic rank. The schedule is the same for librarians. No member of the academic faculty will receive continuing appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor/Librarian as they are simultaneously reviewed for promotion. Continued employment at the rank of Professor or Associate Professor (as well as Librarian and Associate Librarian) after the third consecutive year of employment must be with continuing appointment (per Article XII Title B of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees).
Academic faculty are evaluated for renewal by the departments or schools to which they are appointed. The evaluation assesses the faculty member’s achievements and trajectory in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service. The standards for productivity and progress in each department or school are referenced to the modes of communication for the applicable discipline and the teaching and service requirements of the academic unit. For term renewals, the faculty member being reviewed typically provides a current CV, sample publications, course materials, peer observations, and student course evaluations. These materials are reviewed and discussed at a department/school faculty meeting. The department chair or Dean prepares a written recommendation to the Dean or Provost. Where applicable, the Dean provides a recommendation to the Provost. The UUP Agreement requires that copies of the chair and Dean recommendations be made available to the candidate as they are formed. The Provost acts on behalf of the President for term renewals. The campus has developed more extensive and detailed administrative procedures for reviewing academic faculty for continuing appointment and promotion (see Number 6 below).
This process is also followed for librarians; the evaluation assesses the candidate’s achievements and trajectory in the areas of effectiveness in librarianship, scholarship, and service. Professional employees are reviewed annually for renewal and in their sixth year are reviewed for permanent appointment.
Barring time off the tenure clock, academic staff are evaluated for continuing appointment (tenure) in the sixth year of their employment. The process is regulated by University guidelines promulgated by the Provost.
Policies and procedures related to the awarding of Continuing Appointment (tenure) to academic staff are described in Article XI Title B of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees.
Each academic department (or college/school for those without academic departments) sets the expectations for continuing appointment and promotion, based on the norms of the discipline and the unit’s standards for teaching and service contributions. Accordingly, each unit is expected to have a statement on these norms and expectations, available in the unit office and included in each dossier submitted for consideration of continuing appointment and promotion. Review full details regarding departmental norms and expectations.
The University offers academic faculty several types of leave, with or without pay. This includes sabbatical leave, sick leave, FMLA leave, and other study leave. Academic faculty appointed to academic year obligations do not accrue annual (vacation) leave. Requests for leave begin in the academic department. Learn more about leaves of absence.
Academic faculty who hold continuing appointment are eligible for a sabbatical leave after six years of continuous full-time service. Article XIII Title E of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees, permit two leave options – one semester at 100% of full-time salary, or two semesters at 50% of full-time salary. Applications are subject to review by the academic faculty member’s department chair and dean, and are ultimately approved by the Provost on behalf of the President. Review specific guidelines and application procedures for sabbatical leaves.
Appointments may be terminated as a result of non-renewal, resignation or retirement. Policies related to terminations of service and retirement can be found in Article XIV and XV of the Policies of the Board of Trustees.
Faculty are eligible for benefits offered by the State of New York to all employees of the UUP bargaining unit. These benefits include options for health insurance and retirement. Information about all benefits is available on the Human Resources website. Questions about benefits may be directed to benefits specialists in that office.
SUNY Distinguished faculty ranks are the highest academic ranks within the SUNY System. These appointments are conferred by the Trustees based on a recommendation from the Chancellor. There are three distinguished titles for academic faculty: Distinguished Professor, Distinguished Teaching Professor, and Distinguished Service Professor; the rank of Distinguished Librarian is also available for Library Faculty. Academic faculty are nominated for elevation to the Distinguished ranks by their campus president.
Named in honor of UAlbany’s 15th President, the Vincent O’Leary Professorship is a post retirement, part-time opportunity for full-time academic faculty. O’Leary appointments are confirmed by the Provost on recommendation of the Dean of the faculty member’s school or college. These appointments seek to honor the contribution and continuing service of full-time academic faculty. Review guidelines for the O'Leary Professorship.
Any member of the academic, library or professional faculty who retires in good standing is eligible for emeritus status, in accordance with the provisions of Title B or C of Article XV of the Policies of the Board of Trustees. Formal application for emeritus status is not required.
The privileges of emeritus status may include use of library and study facilities, use of office and laboratory space (subject to availability), ability to participate in sponsored research, and representation of the University in professional groups, subject to approval by the applicable chair or dean.
Retired faculty are also encouraged to participate in the programs offered by UAlbany’s Emeritus Center.
The University has established Guidelines for the Appointment of Part-Time Faculty Members.
Each academic faculty member has an official personnel file maintained by the Office of Human Resources Management. Article 31 (Personnel Files) of the Agreement Between United University Professions and the State of New York provides for the maintenance of official personnel files for each employee. It further provides that the file shall contain copies of personnel transactions, official correspondence with employees, and appropriate formal written evaluative reports, and states that all file materials shall be available to the employee for review and response.
The University’s grievance process is regulated by the Agreement Between United University Professions and the State of New York. The process is described in Article 7 of the Agreement. Questions about faculty grievances can be addressed to the Office of Human Resources Management or to officers of the Albany Chapter of United University Professions.
Where it serves institutional interests, academic faculty may be transferred across academic units. The procedure for transfer is managed by the Provost’s Office.
Opportunities are available for academic faculty to teach in the University’s Summer and Winter sessions. Compensation for courses offered in these sessions is provided at established per course rates based on the status and academic rank of the instructor. Information is available from the Office of General Studies and Summer Sessions.
Academic faculty members are expected to complete a Faculty Activity Report annually, documenting their academic and related professional accomplishments during the year. The Faculty Activity Report can be found on the Academic Services and Advising tab of MyUAlbany.
An employee may report for jury duty or as a witness in a court or quasi-judicial matter without charge to leave credits, provided the employee is not a party to the action. Learn more about jury duty leave.
Instructors are responsible for meeting their classes regularly and at scheduled times according to the University calendar. In the event of illness or an emergency, instructors must notify their department or school so that suitable action may be taken. Instructors who will be absent from campus during a regular workweek for professional reasons (e.g., to attend a conference), religious observances, etc., while classes are in session, shall inform the Department Chair (or Dean) of these activities in advance. Classes cannot be cancelled under these circumstances; instead, the instructor must find a replacement or present an alternative instructional plan (e.g., timed assignments via blackboard, have a colleague monitor a guest speaker, provide for a take home exam or assignment, etc.). Options must be approved in advance by the Department Chair or Dean.
The University’s full-time and part-time academic, library, and professional faculty are represented by United University Professions, a statewide bargaining unit affiliated with New York State United Teachers. Visit the UUP Albany Chapter website for more information.
The University annually celebrates the excellence of faculty and staff by conferring awards for research and creative activities, teaching, librarianship, professional service, academic service, and support service. Nominations are solicited each fall. Awards are presented at a public ceremony in the spring. Learn more about the President’s Awards for Excellence.
Each faculty and staff member is provided with a UAlbany Mail account (@albany.edu). This email account is used by the University as an official means of communication with the campus community. Faculty and staff members must check their UAlbany Mail accounts regularly to ensure that they receive all official communications from the University.
Faculty members are also expected to use UAlbany Mail for their official University business communications to ensure security, privacy, preservation of records, and effective organizational operations. Learn more about University email accounts.
This Section provides a summary and references to policies affecting faculty members in their roles as instructors. While similar in many areas, some policies differ between undergraduate and graduate level instruction.
The Principles of Teaching Responsibility apply to faculty and other instructional staff at the University at Albany (referred to below as instructors). These statements are an expression of professional responsibilities on our campus. The provisions of such a code are so reasonable and the University conceives them to be so important that adherence to them will be taken into consideration as part of the assessment of teaching effectiveness called for in Article XII of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees.
The privacy rights of individuals enrolled at the University are to be protected as a matter of law. Specifically, the privacy rights of students are defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 forbids disclosure of information about students’ academic work to third parties without their written permission. Such third parties include fellow students, but also parents and family members of the student in question. Instructors should be alert to the existence of this strong and binding restriction and should take care not to reveal information about students directly or indirectly to third parties.
Faculty members share a responsibility for ensuring that students’ privacy rights are protected. Full information and detailed guidance regarding the following FERPA-related topics can be found on the Registrar's website:
FERPA and Research
Any questions about privacy law and disclosure should be referred to the University’s Privacy Compliance Officer, Karen Chico Hurst, University Registrar at [email protected].
The Office of the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education is responsible for the coordination of the academic experience of undergraduates.
Policies governing undergraduate instruction are detailed in the Undergraduate Bulletin, which is updated once a year. Key policies are summarized below.
The instructor of every section of an undergraduate class at the University shall provide each student in a section a printed or web-published copy of the syllabus distributed during the first week of the class (preferably on the first regularly scheduled day the section meets). This syllabus must contain at least the information defined in the policy as specified in the Undergraduate Bulletin's syllabus section. Instructors should ensure the syllabus is ADA compliant.
Students are expected to attend all classes and all examinations and to complete all course requirements on time. Faculty have the prerogative of developing an attendance policy whereby attendance and/or participation is part of the grade. Faculty are also expected to use their best judgment when students have appropriate documentation for legitimate absences.
Depending on the nature and the duration of the absence, the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education may provide letters to instructors asking that students be granted consideration for absences. Although University officials and/or instructors will consider each student’s request on its own merits, there are three types of reasons for which excuses will generally be granted: (a) illness, tragedy, or other personal emergency; (b) foreseeable time conflicts resulting from required appointments; and (c) religious observance. (Instructors must explicitly refer to New York State Education Law (Section 224-A) whereby campuses are required to excuse, without penalty, individual students absent because of religious beliefs, and to provide equivalent opportunities for make-up examinations, study, or work requirements missed because of such absences. Faculty should work directly with students to accommodate absences. Students should notify the instructor of record in a timely manner. Please see item #15 below for more information regarding religious accommodation.
More information on the policy is available in the Undergraduate Bulletin's section on attendance and the Undergraduate Education website's section on attendance.
The undergraduate grading system for the University includes the following grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, E, S/U. A–E grades are defined as follows: A–Excellent, B–Good, C–Fair, D–Poor, and E–Failure.
The grade of E is a failing grade and cannot be used to fulfill graduation requirements. The grade of S is defined as equivalent to the grade of C or higher and is acceptable to fulfill graduation requirements. The grade of U (C- or lower) is unsatisfactory.
An Incomplete (I) is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the instructor when a student has been unable to complete a class for reasons which are considered to be extenuating and beyond the student's control. These reasons must be documented at the time of the request. Incomplete grades do not count toward graduation. Incompletes may not be resolved by auditing or registering again for a subsequent offering of the course.
Review the Undergraduate Bulletin's Incomplete policy for additional information. Review, as well as the grading information on the Registrar's website for the conditions and timelines for assigning and resolving Incomplete Grades.
An instructor may not permit students in an undergraduate course to submit additional work or to be reexamined for the purpose of improving their grades after the course has been completed. The Registrar’s Office may not enter a change of grade without the approval of the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, except for changes of I (Incomplete) to a final grade. Review, as well as the grading information on the Registrar's website for additional information.
Instructors may deregister students who fail to attend class, explain absence, or officially drop within the first six days of classes of a term unless prior arrangements have been made by the student with the instructor. Students may be deregistered who lack the prerequisite(s) of the course at any time within the semester (Fall or Spring) the course is being taught. Learn more about deregistration.
In many courses, final examinations are an integral part of the learning and evaluative process, while some courses, by virtue of the structure, material, or style of presentation, do not require a final examination. The policy in no way requires an instructor to administer a final examination. No examinations of more than one-half hour's duration should be scheduled during the last five regularly scheduled class days of a semester unless the class is “ARR” (Arranged). Final exams and make-up exams/quizzes/classes may not be scheduled on Reading Day. Learn more about final exams.
Faculty should also refer to the Undergraduate Bulletin's section on academic policies for the complete set of academic policies and of the requirements of all the undergraduate academic programs of the University. Questions may be directed to the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.
The Graduate School is responsible for the coordination of the academic experience of graduate students. Additional information is available at .
Graduate academic policies are detailed in the Graduate Bulletin. They include the following policies of interest to faculty in their role as instructors:
Course syllabus requirements exist in various policies and regulations of the State, SUNY System and University at Albany, by level of study and/or academic unit. The Graduate School has developed a course syllabus guide but defers authority on syllabus content and practices to applicable existing regulations and units. It does not replace existing regulations or expectations but is provided to serve as a secondary resource and guide to faculty and academic units. The guide denotes items required by State or SUNY regulations to be included in syllabi and provides recommended items. Instructors should ensure that the syllabus is ADA compliant.
Attendance by all graduate students must be regular. Regulations concerning attendance in a particular course are at the discretion of the instructor and are announced in the opening class session. Responsibility for class attendance rests with the student.
In all cases the work missed through absence must be made up. However, permission to make up such work is not automatic and is given at the discretion of the instructor. The University reserves the right to exclude from a graduate program, course, or final examination students whose attendance in classes is unsatisfactory to their instructors or to the Dean of the Graduate School.
Campuses are required by law to excuse, without penalty, individual students absent because of religious beliefs, and to provide equivalent opportunities for make-up examinations, study, or work requirements missed because of such absences (New York State Education Law [Section 224-a]). Faculty should work directly with students to accommodate religious observances. Please see item Number 15 below for more information regarding religious accommodation
The grading system for all formally organized and structured graduate courses requires the use of the following A-E scale: A; A-; B+; B; B-; C+; C; D; and E; other grades which may temporarily or permanently be substituted for the above grades are I (incomplete), W (withdrawn), and Z (failure). The grading system for all graduate courses which by design are unstructured or are organized primarily to provide an independent learning experience are required to be graded on the S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory) scale. In this graduate scale S is equivalent to a B or better, and U is equivalent to a B- or lower. An Incomplete is a temporary grade to be given only when the student has nearly completed the course but due to circumstances beyond the student's control the work is not completed on schedule. It is to be assigned only based on an agreement between instructor and student, specifying work to be completed before the end of the next term (or automatically changes to E/U). Grades of D, E, Z, and U are not applicable to graduate program requirements and do not earn graduate credit. More information is also available in the Graduate Bulletin's section on grading.
An instructor may not permit students to submit additional work or be re-examined for the purpose of improving their grades once the course has been completed and final grades assigned. Other than for conversion of grades from I (Incomplete) to an appropriate final grade, all proposed corrective graduate grade changes, with rationale provided, must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School (or designee) before the Registrar may record them.
In many courses, final examinations are an integral part of the learning and evaluative process, while some courses, by virtue of the structure, material, or style of presentation, do not require a final examination. The policy in no way requires an instructor to administer a final examination. No examinations of more than one-half hour's duration should be scheduled during the last five regularly scheduled class days of a semester, unless the class is “ARR” (Arranged). Final exams and make-up exams/quizzes/classes may not be scheduled on Reading Day. Learn more about final exams.
Graduate instruction may only be given by:
Faculty members who hold an earned doctorate or the Master of Fine Arts (MFA); or
Faculty members who hold the rank of associate professor or higher or;
Exceptions to allow other faculty to provide graduate instruction shall be considered within each school/college.
Faculty should refer to the Graduate Bulletin's section on academic policies the complete set of policies and requirements of the graduate academic programs of the University. Questions may be directed to the Graduate School.
Authority and responsibility for assigning and changing grades rests with the instructor of record. All students must be graded, including internships, independent readings, directed research, and dissertation load by the deadline communicated by the Office of the Registrar to faculty via their @albany.edu email address. Failure to submit grades by stated deadlines can negatively impact students’ academic progress, financial aid, employment, and other opportunities. Learn more about final grading.
Classes must meet at all times and sessions specified in the Schedule of Classes (i.e., three times a week, twice a week, once a week etc.) in order to meet federal, state, and SUNY instructional requirements. If instructors are unable to meet a class, whether in an emergency or a planned absence, other arrangements must be made in consultation with the department chair. No class may be cancelled by the instructor. Please see Section 2B-21 of this Handbook for additional information about the instructor obligation.
The University at Albany’s Standards for Academic Integrity, as well as the procedures for handling them, can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin's section on academic regulations and the Graduate Bulletin's section on academic integrity.
The instructor is responsible for determining when a student has violated academic integrity in a course. Students engaging in other academic activities such as qualifying or comprehensive examinations, theses, dissertations must also adhere to the standards of academic integrity. In these cases, academic advisors and department, college, or school officials responsible for a student's program of study are charged with determining if a student has violated academic integrity.
Faculty or staff members encountering a violation of academic integrity are required to complete and file a Violation of Academic Integrity Report with the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate or the Dean of the Graduate School. The report should indicate the sanction imposed and a brief description of the incident. Depending on the egregiousness of the violation, or on whether other reports are on file for the student, that office may make a referral to the Office of Community Standard for judicial action.
Community Rights and Responsibilities is the official code of conduct outlining behavioral expectations for University at Albany students. The University has developed this code of standards and expectations, consistent with its purpose as an educational institution and requires that each student accept responsibility for his or her own behavior and consequences. These regulations and the procedures for their enforcement apply to all student conduct and behavior. These specific regulations should not be viewed as a comprehensive code of desirable conduct; rather they describe the minimum standard.
Disruptive behavior in a class should not be tolerated. Cases of disruptive behavior may be referred to the Office of Community Standards, which also offers advice to assist instructors.
Students who seek to challenge an academic grade or evaluation of their work in a course or seminar, or in research or another educational activity, may request a review of the evaluation by filing an academic grievance. Each school and college must have approved, established grievance procedures. A student who seeks to dispute a grade or evaluation must initially pursue the matter directly with the faculty member involved. If not satisfactorily resolved directly with the faculty member, a written grievance may be filed with the program/department, or directly with school/college for units that are not departmentalized
Additional information is available in the Undergraduate Bulletin's section on academic regulations and the Graduate Bulletin's section on academic grievances.
Federal and State laws require institutions of higher education to make available information on required course textbooks, as well as the costs of these required materials. The Higher Education Opportunity Act [Federal College Textbook Affordability Act, 2008] went into effect on July 1, 2010, and the New York State Textbook Access Act [Education Law 720] went into effect one year earlier on July 1, 2009.
At the University at Albany, faculty members should notify the Bookstore of textbook information for their courses, by the Bookstore’s deadline, in order to provide this information to students in time to register for the upcoming semester’s courses. Advanced Registration for the summer and fall semesters typically begins in March and, for spring and winter semesters, in October.
Copyright is the lawful right of an author or owner of a piece of work to control its use. For a work to be protected by copyright law, it must be an idea that has been expressed and fixed in some sort of medium. The expression has to be original. Works protected by copyright include: Literary works, musical works, dramatic works, choreographic works, illustrations, graphics, sculptures, sound recordings, and architectural works.
To use copyrighted material for teaching, research, or scholarship, one either has to obtained copyright clearance or the use has to fall within the concept of fair use. Fair use is covered in Section 107 of the Copyright Act. It provides that fair use of a work "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, and teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use, scholarship, or research)" may not be an infringement of copyright. Fair use is ill-defined in the law and the ultimate decision on whether use constitutes fair use rests with the courts. It is important to note that use for educational purposes is not automatically considered fair use, but instead still has to meet certain criteria typically considered by courts in copyright infringement cases. Moreover, placing copyrighted material on a log-in protected page such as a blackboard course, does not change the applicability of the rules of copyright and fair use.
Online courses offered by the University must meet University standards for excellence in online teaching. Faculty who have never taught online must consult with staff from CATLOE and participate in a program in instructional design and online pedagogical approaches before offering an online course. Faculty who wish to initiate an online course should contact [email protected].
The decision to offer courses online during the academic year is made by the academic program sponsoring the courses. Courses to be offered online during the Summer Session and Winter session are determined jointly by the academic department and the Office of General Studies and Summer Sessions. Faculty members wishing to teach online should consult with the department chair.
In order to comply with New York State regulations regarding retention of records, the following requirements should be noted by all faculty members involved in teaching or advising:
Instructor's grade records, test scores, and marking sheets: To be maintained for two years following the completion of the course.
Student Advising Records: To be maintained for one year following the student’s graduation.
Final Exam papers: To be maintained for one semester to allow review by students. This regulation does not apply in those instances in which the instructor chooses to return the papers to the students at the end of the course.
Instructors are legally responsible for the provision of the academic accommodations. Disability Access & Inclusion Student Services (DAISS) can assist in providing as many of the accommodations as possible, such as space and proctors for extended time on exams in a less distracting location, as well as verbatim text readers and verbatim scribes for exams.
Campuses are required to excuse, without penalty, individual students absent because of religious beliefs, and to provide equivalent opportunities for make-up examinations, study, or work requirements missed because of such absences (New York State Education Law (Section 224-a)). Faculty should work directly with students to accommodate religious observances.
A student who requires a reasonable religious accommodation should make the request directly to his or her course instructor (these requests should not be directed to the Office of Undergraduate Education or the Graduate School). It is expected that the student will provide sufficient notice of the need for an accommodation to course instructors in order for the accommodation to be implemented. Faculty are asked, whenever possible, to avoid scheduling examinations, papers, presentations, or other assignments to be due on any of the major listed holidays. When unavoidable, students must be given the opportunity for an equivalent make-up. In the event that a student’s request for religious accommodation involves an alternative examination time or date, any make-up examinations given for purposes of test security must be comparable, in terms of format and difficulty, to the examinations given to the remainder of the class. All courses are registered on Blackboard, the University's online course management system. It is suggested that faculty post their lecture notes, and any other materials, for classes taking place on any of the major holidays so that all students can access course materials. The Educational Technology Services (ETS) is available for further consultation. Appointments and online resources are available via the ETS’s site. ETS staff can also be reached at 518-442-4288 and have consulting hours available, as well.
Undergraduate students who still encounter issues requesting accommodations after speaking with the professor should contact the Office of Undergraduate Education at 518-442-3950 or [email protected].
Graduate students who still encounter issues requesting accommodations after speaking with the professor should contact the Graduate School at [email protected].
Visit the Academic Calendar for the official academic calendar, academic planning calendars for future years, and previous years' academic calendars.
Review the official Schedule of Classes. The Schedule of Classes is published in time for each semester’s Advance Registration period (for the summer and fall semesters in March and for winter and spring semester in October).
Class and final exam cancellation information and updates are available on the Emergency Alerts page.
The laws of the State of New York grant sole authority to close a campus or suspend normal operations to the Governor. Campus Presidents, however, may suspend classes, for example in consideration of the safety of students and staff.
This Section provides a summary and references to federal, state, SUNY and University policies affecting faculty researchers and scholars.
The State University of New York (SUNY) and the Research Foundation for SUNY (SUNY RF) adopted a Statement on Research Integrity with 16 supporting principles that encompass academic freedom, scientific rigor, research ethics, and transparency. The Statement on Research Integrity provides the philosophical framework for all research policies developed and adopted by SUNY campuses.
In keeping with its commitment to research integrity and in compliance with its obligations under federal regulations, the University will respond to all allegations of misconduct in research or scholarship. The Vice President for Research and Economic Development is the designated Research Integrity Officer (RIO) responsible for the Policies and Procedures on Misconduct in Research and Scholarship.
In harmony with the principles of academic freedom, SUNY faculty may openly publish and disseminate information about their research activities. Exceptions may be made only when the SUNY Chancellor makes a formal determination that some degree of restriction is necessary to protect state and/or national security. Review the SUNY Policy on Unrestricted Dissemination of Research Activities.
Research or research-related programs conducted by University personnel, carried out at the state-operated campuses or on university-controlled premises shall be open to participation by University students or faculty regardless of national origin or nationality.
The University will not accept contracts or research grants that exclude participation by foreign nationals. Exceptions to this policy may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the chancellor or designee under special circumstances related to national security.
Questions about the policy should be directed to the Office for Innovation Development and Commercialization.
In response to current cybersecurity trends, research integrity principles and requirements of sponsors, publishers, and data owners the University strongly encourages faculty researchers who to develop a Data Management Plan.
Data Use Agreements (DUAs) require the review and signature of an authorized representative of UAlbany. To begin this process, please contact Procurement Services.
For technological needs related to data collection and storage, contact the Research Technology Services unit ([email protected]) of ITS. Please also refer to the University’s Information Security policy.
Finally, it is essential that prior to the submission of a proposal for externally supported activities to consult with Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) about any sponsor-specific data security requirements (www.albany.edu/spa/pacs/).
All University research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations and University policies.
All activities at the University using live vertebrate animals for research or teaching must be reviewed and approved by the University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations and University policies.
Works authored on the University’s behalf under the terms of certain agreements and works authored in the performance of routine employment duties are covered under the SUNY Patents, Inventions and Copyright Policy.
This section provides information regarding some of the activities across the University, including research and teaching activities that must comply with Office Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) policies such as laboratory safety, occupational safety, and general campus safety.
All University activities, including research activities, involving biohazardous materials must be reviewed and approved by the University’s Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) in accordance with University policy and federal and state laws and regulations.
Biohazardous materials include materials of biological origin that have the capacity to produce deleterious effects on humans or animals, such as Recombinant DNA, Recombinant RNA, viral and bacterial pathogens, yeast, fungi, toxins and/or plant, animal, or human tissues that may contain biohazardous materials.
Certain activities, including research activities, conducted under the auspices of the University require the use of controlled substances. Controlled substances are identified in the schedules contained within the "Controlled Substances Inventory List" published by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
In conducting research with controlled substances, University-authorized employees must comply with federal and state laws and regulations regarding their use, including USDEA registration and New York State Department of Health (DOH) licensure; storage requirements; inventory maintenance; substance disposal; and reporting and record keeping.
All University research involving radiation-producing devices and radioactive materials must be reviewed and approved by the University’s Radiation Safety Committee in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations.
This Section provides a summary and references to general workplace and campus policies affecting all employees of the University at Albany.
The University at Albany is committed to fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff and students, as well as ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment and access to services, programs and activities, without regard to an individual's race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, criminal conviction or any other characteristic protected by law. Employees, students, applicants or other members of the University community (including but not limited to vendors, visitors and guests) may not be subjected to harassment that is prohibited by law or treated adversely or retaliated against based upon a protected characteristic or activity.
The University’s policy is in accordance with all federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Further information may be found on the Office of Equity & Compliance website.
The University at Albany is committed to assuring equal employment opportunity and equal access to services, programs and activities for persons with disabilities. It is the policy of the University to provide reasonable accommodation(s) to a qualified person with a disability to enable them to perform the essential functions of the position for which they are employed or are applying for employment.
Further information may be found on the Office of Equity & Compliance website.
Article XIII, Title I of the Policies of the Board of Trustees, requires that employees certify their presence and record any absences on forms to be provided by the State. Employees are also required to record any charges to accruals of vacation or sick leave credits (academic faculty only accrue sick leave). Such forms shall be submitted to the chief administrative officer, or designee, for review on a monthly basis. All teaching and professional staff must enter any sick and vacation leave use, or confirm no leave was used, each month of obligation, utilizing the SUNY HR Time and Attendance System (TAS) web-based system.
Smoking or the use of tobacco products is prohibited anywhere on campus, and the University at Albany is a smoke- and tobacco-free University.
The University prohibits the unlawful use, possession, manufacture, dispensation or distribution of alcohol and controlled substances by employees in all campus work locations. No employee will report for work or will work impaired by any substance, drug or alcohol, lawful or unlawful.
The University at Albany is committed to providing a safe learning and work environment for the University’s community. The University will respond promptly to threats, acts of violence and acts of aggression by employees, students and/or members of the public against employees and members of the campus community.
The University at Albany strives to maintain a respectful, safe, and nonthreatening environment for its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The University does not tolerate sexual violence of any kind, which includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking. The Sexual Violence Response Policy establishes procedures for responding to incidents of sexual violence and sets forth available resources for individuals reporting sexual violence and for individuals accused of or responding to allegations of sexual violence.
The University at Albany, to the fullest extent possible without violating any existing rules, regulations, statutory requirements, contractual obligations or collective bargaining agreements, will take all appropriate actions to promote safety in the workplace and respond effectively to the needs of victims of domestic violence.
Possession of a weapon on the campuses of the University at Albany is prohibited by New York State law and University policy. Review the University Weapons on Campus Policy.
Federal laws under which federal funds are made available to the University contain specific requirements for the administration of these funds in order to preclude "conflict of interest" practices, that is, practices where there seems to be evidence that responsible officials have afforded their relatives preferential treatment in hiring and promotion. Federal and State EEO and Affirmative Action laws also prohibit discriminating practices. This policy is established to strike a balance between preventing preferential treatment and yet not discriminating against applicants or employees based solely upon marital or blood relationships.
University policy does not preclude the employment of two or more members of the same family. However, an employee of the University may not officially approve nor recommend the appointment, reappointment, promotion, or salary adjustment of a relative.
Where a search process results in the nomination of a candidate who is a relative of a person in the administrative chain, the proposed appointment, with full documentation supporting the proposal, must be passed for action to the next administrative level above the official who is a relative. The responsible official at this next level will forward the proposal, with recommendations, through channels to one of the following:
Vice President for Research for all externally funded research positions;
Vice President for Academic Affairs for all instructional positions;
Chief Human Resources Officer; or
Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointments for any faculty case requesting tenure.
If employees find themselves responsible for the direct supervision of a member of their own family, they must arrange with their supervisor for an appropriate means of removing themselves from any process which evaluates or otherwise considers the relative for reappointment, continuing appointment, promotion, or salary adjustment. Further, supervisors will provide for independent verification of the time and effort expended for the position. (Issued by the President on May 1, 1979.)
In addition, the New York Public Officers Law, Section 73.14(a) states, “No statewide elected official, state officer or employee, member of the legislature or legislative employee may participate in any decision to hire, promote, discipline or discharge a relative for any compensated position at, for, or within any state agency, public authority or the legislature.”
The University at Albany is committed to ensuring that our students and faculty and staff can learn and work in an environment that is free from nepotism, harassment, exploitation, and conflicts of interest. The University is also committed to promoting fairness in grading, evaluation, and career opportunities. To achieve this, it is vital that all University personnel maintain professional boundaries with students and with other employees over whom there is or will be a supervisory responsibility.
The State University of New York is committed to protecting the safety and well-being of children who participate in University-related programs and activities, whether on or off campus, or utilize campus facilities for activities including, but not limited to, sports camps, academic and personal enrichment programs, and research studies.
The SUNY's Child Protection Policy was passed by Board on June 17, 2014. The policy sets protocols and mandates for campuses to follow when SUNY has children in its care, custody, and control.
For questions or information regarding obtaining required training under the Child Protection Policy, contact the Office of Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance.
The University at Albany Foundation supports and promotes the activities and programs of the University at Albany, through management of assets raised via fundraising and other charitable gifts; developing and managing real property; and providing a strong base of private-sector support through the efforts of Foundation Directors.
Review the UAlbany Foundation's policies and procedures on the solicitation and acceptance of gifts and donations, and the expenditure of funds (purchasing).
The University at Albany follows policies and procedures of New York State and of the State University of New York regarding all purchases made with state funds.
Visit the Sponsored Program Administration (SPA) website for policies regarding purchases made with research funds through the Research Foundation.
The University at Albany follows the policies and procedures of New York State and of the State University of New York regarding employee travel for official University purposes.
International Travel: For University business-related international travel, the University requires all faculty, staff and volunteers to obtain immediate supervisor approval, register their international travel plans with the Center for International Education and Global Strategy, and obtain additional prior approval for specific high-risk destinations.
The University reaffirms its commitment to the principle that the widest possible scope for freedom of expression is the foundation of an institution dedicated to vigorous inquiry, robust debate, and the continuous search for a proper balance between freedom and order.
The University seeks to foster an environment in which persons who are on its campus legitimately may express their views as widely and as passionately as possible; at the same time, the University pledges to provide the greatest protection available for controversial, unpopular, dissident, or minority opinions.
The University believes that censorship is always suspect, that intimidation is always repugnant, and that attempts to discourage constitutionally protected expression may be antithetical to the University's essential missions: to discover new knowledge and to educate.
Civil Service Law § 107 and Public Officers Law § 73(17) prohibit certain political activity in the workplace. In addition, the Commission’s outside activity regulations prohibit certain outside political activities. Specifically, the following restrictions are in place:
A potential employee cannot be asked about their political party affiliation, whether or not that applicant made any political contributions or how that applicant voted.
No person can use his or her official State position to coerce, intimidate or influence other State officers or employees for any political purpose, action or contribution, or interfere with any election.
State offices may not be used for soliciting or collecting any political contributions.
No State officer or employee shall corruptly use or promise to use any official authority or influence in exchange for political action on another’s part.
The State University of New York recognizes the benefits of exposing students to political debate and information, including partisan political speech. SUNY campuses routinely offer some of our facilities to a wide range of student, faculty/staff and outside speakers and likewise must open such facilities to political speech. In reviewing requests for permission to use campus facilities, SUNY campuses must be guided by the principle of viewpoint neutrality and even-handed treatment.
The University's Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order Policy outlines the rules for the maintenance of public order (including prohibited conduct), applicability and communication of the rules, and statements regarding freedom of speech, assembly, picketing and demonstrations on campuses.
University at Albany facilities are available for short-term, occasional use by external non-profit organizations. In order to use a space for a short term, the University requires a Revocable Permit, and usage fees apply.
As an institution of higher education, the University respects and fully supports the rights granted to individuals under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution regarding free speech. The University has adopted free speech policies with respect to its students, faculty, and staff. Third parties, who are not sponsored by the University and/or a recognized student organization, but want to use the campus for free speech purposes must follow the University’s Public Forum Policy.
The University at Albany has implemented an Internal Control Program to comply with the New York State Governmental Accountability, Audit and Internal Control Act and to help ensure that the campus meets its mission.
An Internal Control Program is the integration of the activities, plans, attitudes, policies, and efforts of the people of an organization working together to provide reasonable assurance that the organization will achieve its objectives and mission. All employees are responsible for:
Fulfilling the duties and responsibilities established in their job description and meeting applicable performance standards.
Taking all reasonable steps to safeguard University assets and resources against waste, loss, damage, unauthorized use, or misappropriation.
Reporting breakdowns in internal control systems or suggesting improvements to their supervisor.
Refraining from using their position to secure unwarranted privileges.
Attending education and training programs as appropriate to increase awareness and understanding
The UAlbany Internal Control Hotline at 518-437-4738 provides a means for the confidential and anonymous reporting of observed or suspected wrongdoing.
The New York State Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law §§ 84–90), better known as FOIL, requires that the State University of New York make certain records available to the public. The law requires each campus and the system administration of the University to designate records access officers. The University at Albany fully complies with the New York State Freedom of Information Law. Learn more about FOIL requests at UAlbany.
To maintain campus health, safety and security standards, the University regulates the presence of animals on or in University-owned or controlled property, following all existing laws in establishing the permissibility of animals in University facilities. Review the University's Policy on Animals on Campus.
This Section provides a summary of resources available to faculty members to support their work as teachers and scholars.
The University Libraries support the research, teaching, learning, and engagement missions of the University. The University Library and Science Library on the uptown campus and the Dewey Graduate Library on the downtown campus together house more than 2 million print volumes and provide access to thousands of online resources. The Libraries provide access to e-books, streaming video, rare books and manuscripts, archives, sound recordings, DVDs, government documents, theses and dissertations, and many other resources that support research, teaching, and learning.
Access to the following Library services may be found on the University Libraries website:
Research, Writing and Publishing Services
Computers and Workstations
Group Study and Technology Rooms
Printing and Photocopying, Scanning - SUNY Card
Services for people with disabilities
Review the Faculty Library Guide to learn about services to support the work of faculty, such as:
My Library Account
Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
Scholars Archive (multidisciplinary repository of faculty research and scholarship)
Reserves - For Faculty and instructors
Information Technology Services (ITS) is the centralized provider of technology resources to the University. A wide range of services are available to members of the campus community to support the teaching, research and business needs of the institution.
Visit the ITS Service Catalog to learn more about all the services ITS offers across the following areas:
Administrative and Business
Communication and Collaboration
Desktop and Mobile Computing
Teaching and Learning
Many ITS services are designed to support faculty in their teaching, research and service commitments:
Teaching and Learning: Learn more about the instructional technology, tools, resources and facilities that directly support teaching and learning at UAlbany.
Communication and Collaboration: A variety of tools are available to the campus community to facilitate interaction. Share files, chat, host or participate in virtual meetings and much more. These versatile platforms can be used for teaching, research and business activities.
Research: Advanced or specialized storage and applications, research data services and software are available to support research endeavors across all academic disciplines.
ITS Software Catalog: A list of software titles available to the campus community.
Information security is everyone’s responsibility. ITS offers several services to protect the University’s information assets, including the personal information of its employees.
Every employee receives unique University credentials, including a NetID and password, which are used to access campus IT services. Always keep accounts and personal information secure. The University will never ask you for your password.
Multifactor authentication provides an additional layer of security and is required to access many campus ITS services.
The Institute for Teaching, Learning and Academic Leadership (ITLAL) offers programs of instructional, curriculum and faculty development, including workshops and academies, individual consultations, services for digitizing media used in classes, access to teaching resources, and research on teaching.
The Office of the Dean of Students serves as a central resource for all students, families, faculty and staff when navigating complex personal issues that can impact students’ experience.
Student CARES Services has published a guide for recognizing, responding to and reporting troubling student behavior. This guide can serve as a starting place for faculty concerned about a student.
For additional information, contact the Dean of Students at 518-442-5501 or the other resources noted in the guide.
The University’s Office for Public Engagement supports the University's capacity to do public good, locally and globally, through the advancement of research, teaching and community engagement initiatives that address societal issues.
The SUNY Center for Professional Development is a collaborative central resource for the SUNY community providing access to high quality professional development opportunities focused on the latest trends and established best practices in higher education to enhance the capability of SUNY faculty and staff and increase SUNY's competitive advantage. CPD provides a range of professional development opportunities, including non-credit certificates in online teaching and learning, assessment, and institutional effectiveness. They also provide logistical support for conferences and other events.
The mission of the SUNY Online Teaching Community is to cultivate, support, and promote systemwide excellence in online teaching and learning through faculty development opportunities, resources and supports, and research and scholarship.
The SAIL Institute is a system-wide think tank and leadership development organization dedicated to advancing understanding and building human capacity. It serves the 64-campuses of the SUNY system and higher education institutions across the United States by providing cutting edge leadership development; inspiring institutions to think innovatively about improving student success, and sharing research and analysis that helps leaders stay up-to-dote on current issues and future trends. Through self-assessments, workshops, retreats, executive coaching and other development opportunities, the SAIL Institute builds the capacity of leaders today so they can lead the institutions of tomorrow.
This section provides information on key University resources related to nonacademic services, facilities and safety.
The physical space inventory is an enormous asset and resource crucial to the overall operations of the University. Space is shared, allocated and distributed in alignment with the University’s strategic and academic goals.
Facilities Management is responsible to assure spaces are assigned and utilized as efficiently as possible with a managed review by senior administration for a high level of oversight. All new, additional or changed space assignment needs will be evaluated in context of current space standards distributed by the State University Construction Fund, the Research Foundation and other nationally recognized entities. The space request process is coordinated through each respective Dean’s Office to implement an approved request.
Visit the Office of Facilities Management website for additional information.
Facilities Management, through its Operations Center, manages locks and keying for all campus spaces, regardless of room/space type or function. No University key may be duplicated, except by the Key Shop. Review the Faculty and Staff Key and Door Lock Policy, which helps ensure campus-wide safety and accountability.
The UAlbany ID card provides door access to buildings and classrooms as permitted, Libraries services, and UAlbany bus services including certain Capital District Transportation Administration (CDTA) buses.
Funds can be deposited to the Faculty/Staff dining plan which allows the card to be used to make purchases at campus dining venues (some discounts apply) and vending machines. Podium funds can also be deposited which allow purchases on-campus at dining venues and the bookstore as well as at some off-campus businesses.
The UAlbany ID Card is now available in a mobile app download (CBORD Mobile ID).
University Mail Services receives mail each weekday morning from the U.S. Postal Service and provides delivery and pick up at various University locations on a scheduled basis (check with Mail Services for office schedule). Outgoing stamped mail or mail with a completed postage recharge slip may also be dropped off at the main mail facility. Personal mail may not be left in office out baskets but can be mailed using the green mail receptacles on campus for personal outgoing mail.
All employees, students and visitors must register each vehicle they park on the University at Albany premises in conjunction with parking rules and regulations.
University parking permit regulations are in effect year-round, from 6 a.m. Monday through 6 p.m. Friday (108 consecutive hours).
Infractions such as parking in fire lanes, at fire hydrants, in travel lanes, in accessible spaces, in University vehicle spaces, and on the grass are enforced 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.
Visit the Parking & Mass Transit Services website for additional information.