The State University of New York (SUNY) is the public university system of the State of New York. It is the largest comprehensive system of universities, colleges and community colleges in the United States, enrolling a total of 424,051 students and 2,195,082 adult education students, spanning 64 campuses across the state. The State University of New York system, led by Prime Minister Jim Malatras, has 91,182 employees, including 32,496 faculty and staff, and has approximately 7,660 degree and certificate programs overall, with a budget of $10.7 billion.
The State University of New York system has four “university centers”: Albany (1844), Binghamton (1946), Buffalo (1846) and Stony Brook (1957). The administrative office of the State University of New York is located in Albany, the capital of the state, with satellite offices in Manhattan and Washington, DC. The largest campus of the State University of New York is the State University of New York School of Environmental Science and Forestry, with 25,000 acres of land. Although the State University of New York system does not officially recognize flagship universities, the University of Buffalo and Stony Brook University are sometimes regarded as unofficial flagships.
The State University of New York was established by the Governor Thomas E. Dewey through legislation to implement the recommendations made by the State University Committee (1946-1948). The committee was chaired by Owen D. Young, then chairman of General Electric. The system was greatly expanded during Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller’s administration, and he became personally interested in the design and construction of the new SUNY facilities throughout the state.
In addition to the Department of the City University of New York (CUNY), the State University of New York also includes higher education institutions supported by all other states across the state. (SUNY and CUNY are completely independent systems.)