Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Office of Human Resources
Faculty and Professional Staff Handbook

I.  Introduction

The following document is the Faculty and Professional Staff Handbook for SUNY ESF.  The handbook is a requirement of Article IX, Title A of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees, and is intended to serve as a helpful reference for faculty and professional staff.  The handbook should not be regarded as a complete statement of the rights and responsibilities of faculty and professional staff as policies and procedures are subject to change.

The Faculty and Professional Staff Handbook is an official publication of the President’s Office.  No statement of policy or regulation herein should be interpreted in any way that would make it inconsistent with the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees or violate any New York State or federal law.

The content of this handbook represents the most current information at the time of its publication.  Changes in policies and procedures will be updated on the campus website.  Information on matters not covered by the handbook may be obtained from your supervisor, appropriate college office, publication and/or website.

II.  General Information

State University of New York (SUNY)

The first still-active institution of the State University of New York was officially founded at Potsdam in 1816. By 1862, the Morrill Act set the stage for the four Ivy League land-grant SUNY colleges that now exist at Cornell University. The actual State University of New York system did not come together until February of 1948 when New York was the last of the then forty-eight states to establish an official state university. At this time, SUNY consisted of a consolidation of twenty-nine unaffiliated institutions with eleven of them functioning as teachers’ colleges. All of these colleges had unique histories and a common goal to serve New York State. Since then, SUNY has grown to include sixty-four academic institutions that had formerly been independent institutions or were directly founded by the State University of New York.


The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is recognized and emulated all over the world.  The college was founded in 1911 through the efforts of Syracuse University Chancellor James R. Day and respected state leaders, such as Louis Marshall, who were attuned to a growing national sentiment in favor of forest conservation and sensed the need for a professional school of forestry.

Under the leadership of its first dean, Hugh P. Baker, ESF looked to serve the broad needs of environmental professionalism. As other forestry schools became more specialized, ESF expanded its scope to include such essentials of environmental science as design, engineering, life sciences and resource management.

The college is a doctoral-granting institution, one of only 13 in the 64-campus SUNY system, with highly focused research and service programs that reach across the globe in the search for new knowledge and a mission to improve the quality of life. Students share in the vast array and excitement of these opportunities through direct contact with distinguished faculty and researchers and plenty of hands-on experience in conducting scientific research and applying the results of their work. Quality instruction and learning opportunities for students top ESF's priorities.

SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees

The policies constitute the rules of the Board of Trustees for government of the University and the State-operated colleges of the University, and certain community or contract colleges as specifically designated.  The policies apply to members of “unclassified” staff of the University (i.e., faculty and professional staff).

NYS Joint Commission on Public Ethics

Every officer and employee in State service is bound by the provisions of the State ethics laws, which establish specific standards of conduct, restrict certain business and professional activities - both while in State service and after leaving government - and require financial disclosure of policymakers and other higher level officials. Violators face serious penalties.  The New York State Commission on Public Integrity oversees Section 73 of the Public Officers Law, which includes restrictions on the activities of current and former State officers and employees; Section 73a which contains the contents of the annual statement of financial disclosure and sets forth the requirements for filing; and Section 74 which establishes the State Code of Ethics that prohibits conflicts of interest.  

In addition, all state employees are required to sign an Oath of Office card upon hire which includes agreement to conform to the Provisions of the Public Officers Law Sections 73 through 78.

New York State Governor Executive Orders

The link above is a list of Executive Orders issued by the Governor of New York State of which State Employees are expected to comply with.

ESF Board of Trustees

Article 121 §6003 of New York State Education Law states that SUNY ESF shall have a 15-member Board of Trustees consisting of nine members appointed by the governor and one member elected from among the students of the College.  The remaining five members shall be ex officio and include the lieutenant governor, state commissioner of education, chancellor of the state university, the state commissioner of environmental conservation, and the chancellor of Syracuse University.  Board officers are a chair, vice chair and secretary.  All officers serve for a term of two years.  The Board of Trustees meets three times annually.  Locations vary but advance notice is provided as required by the Open Meetings Law.  Meetings are open to the public.

ESF Organizational Chart

The ESF Organizational Chart lists the academic departments and units reporting to the President, Provost and Executive Vice President, and other Vice Presidents.

Administrative Conference

Article IX, Title E of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees states that there shall be a college administrative conference which shall be comprised of the Chancellor, the President, and other such persons designated by the President.  Each college administrative conference shall act as an advisory and consultative body to the President and shall consider such matters as may be presented to it by the President.  At ESF, the President’s Full Cabinet acts as the administrative conference.

ESF College Foundation

The ESF College Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation of alumni, college and community leaders committed to helping ESF achieve its mission through financial resource development and financial resource management.

Syracuse Pulp and Paper Foundation

The goals of the Syracuse Pulp and Paper Foundation are to attract highly talented young people as students in the Paper and Bioprocess Engineering curriculum, to provide support to those students in the form of scholarships, grants, and interest-free loans, to assist the college in its educational programs, to further (fundamental and applied) research of importance to the pulp, paper, and allied industries, and to provide a means of liaison and communication between the College and the pulp, paper, and allied industries.

ESF Alumni Association

The ESF Alumni Association is responsible for the development and coordination of programs to attract the support and participation of alumni.

Ranger School Alumni Association

The primary purpose of the Ranger School Alumni Association is to promote and assist the Ranger School in the attainment of its educational objectives. The association also helps cultivate fellowship and foster cooperation among the alumni for the support of the Ranger School.

College Catalog

The college catalog includes general information on SUNY and ESF, the academic calendar, a description of academic programs and policies, student support services, a listing of faculty and professional staff, a description of faculties and divisions, and course descriptions. 

III. Academic Governance

Academic Governance at ESF serves a variety of roles as defined by the SUNY Board of Trustees. Primarily, ESF's Academic Governance serves to help facilitate the initiation, development, and implementation of the college's mission and educational program.

College Faculty Composition

Article X, Section 1 of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees provides the following composition for “College Faculty”:  the Chancellor, the chief administrative officer (College President) and other members of the voting faculty of the college, other members of the academic staff of the college, and such nonvoting administrative officers and professional staff as may be designated by the faculty bylaws of the college.  (See Academic Governance Bylaws for those designations at ESF.)

Academic Governance Officers

The above link is a listing of Academic Governance officers, their contact information and terms of office.

Academic Governance Bylaws

The purpose of the bylaws is to set forth the responsibilities of the faculty at ESF and to establish organization and procedures necessary for the effective performance of such responsibilities and for the orderly transaction of college faculty business.

Academic Governance Committees

There are three standing committees of the faculty:  Committee on Instruction, Committee on Public Service & Outreach, and Committee on Research.  The above link provides a listing of committee members, their contact information and terms.

IV. Information for Faculty

Academic Calendar

The academic calendar provides the dates for the current and upcoming semesters for both the Syracuse and Wanakena campuses.

Academic Council

The Academic Council serves in an advisory role to the Provost and Executive Vice President.

Academic Year Obligation

Each spring semester, faculty with academic year obligations receive notification of the actual obligation dates for the following academic year.  See the attached notices for the most current year.

  • Academic Year Obligation Memo for AY 2020-21 for the Syracuse Campus *Revised (PDF)
  • Academic Year Obligation Memo for AY 2020-21 for the Wanakena Campus (PDF)

Contact HR to request PDF files.

Academic Policies

This section of the College Catalog describes college-wide academic policies, undergraduate academic policies and graduate academic policies. 

Academic Staff Annual Reporting and Evaluation Procedures

Each fall the Provost and Executive Vice President sends an Administrative Update that outlines the academic staff annual reporting and evaluation procedures including promotion, reappointment, and continuing appointment (i.e., tenure). 

Course and Curriculum Development: This page gives definitions of course and curriculum-related terminology and the process used by Academic Governance to affect changes in courses and curriculum.

Graduate Studies

  • Graduate Degree Requirements and Forms: These are the forms students and faculty must complete and the associated academic policies for graduate students.
  • Funding Opportunities for Graduate Students: This is where you will find descriptions of ESF-based assistantships, eligibility requirements, and faculty-based application forms for appointing graduate students to assistantships. There is also a link to non-ESF opportunities from this page.
  • Tuition Scholarship Policy: The Provost establishes the minimum bi-weekly stipend and the duration of appointments for students who are appointed to the title Research Project Assistant. This document shows the bi-weekly amounts and the associated pro-rated amounts for tuition scholarships.
  • Full-Time Memo: This is the form graduate students must complete to obtain certification for full-time study for less than 12 credits per semester.

International Students: This site provides information for non-US citizens as they make plans to travel to the US, to obtain necessary visa paperwork, and to acclimate to Syracuse. The page links to the Slutzker Center for International Services (SU) and protocol necessary to obtain authorization for practical training.

Policy on Teaching, Service and Research Responsibilities

The policy describes faculty teaching responsibilities at ESF over the last two decades.  It expresses the unique capabilities of each faculty member and the needs of the institution in teaching, public service and research. 

V. Information for Professional Employees

A Professional employee is an employee in the Professional Services Negotiating Unit (UUP), other than an employee with academic or qualified academic rank.

Evaluation and Promotion of Professional Employees

Article XII, Title C, Section 1 of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees states that it is the policy of the University to evaluate on a regular basis the performance of all professional employees and to give such employees consideration for promotion. The UUP Agreement includes information regarding evaluation and promotion for professional employees (

College Procedures for Professional Employee Promotion

Supervisors of professional employees should receive approval from the appropriate Vice President (or College President) prior to assigning a significant increase or change in the duties and responsibilities of a professional employee.  This approval may include a review of the professional employee’s duties and responsibilities by the Office of Human Resources.  The supervisor will be notified by the Vice President as to whether or not a promotion and/or salary increase is warranted.

Advanced Internal Application Policy and Procedures

The Revised Advanced Internal Application Policy and Procedures describes the process for internal promotion and career enhancement opportunities for professional employees.

VI. Title IX, Non-Discrimination Policy and Affirmative Action

Contact HR to request documents.

VIII. Leave of Absence

Article XIII of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees describes various leaves for eligible faculty and professional staff including vacation, sick, holiday, sabbatical, disability and other leaves.

IX. Retirement/Separation from Service


Article XV of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees describes retirement for faculty and professional staff.  Section D of this article describes faculty Emeritus Status and privileges after retirement.


Article XIV of the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees describes terminations of service, including temporary appointments.

X. Collective Bargaining Agreement (Union Contract)

The following are links that provide information about United University Professions (UUP) statewide and locally. 

XI.  Employee Benefits for UUP-represented employees

Various benefits are available to UUP-represented employees.  The following links provide summaries of many of those benefits.

XII. ESF Student Information

The following are links that provide information related to ESF students.

XIII. Academic Resources

The following includes links to various academic resources. A list of academic units is available.

XIV. ESF Policies and Procedures

Certain collegewide policies are available on the college’s web site at  Other collegewide policies exist in various offices.  In addition, several unit-specific policies are available on individual unit websites.  Any questions about collegewide or unit policies should be directed to an employee’s supervisor and/or to the appropriate Unit Head. 

XV. ESF Administrative Updates

ESF administration issues various updates, some of which are time-sensitive.  Employees should be familiar with the updates.

XVI. Other College Committees

Various college committees have been established for the benefit of employees and the college community, these include:

  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Joint Labor/Management Health and Safety Committee
  • Personal Safety/Campus Security Advisory Committee
  • Quality of Worklife Committee

Various notices of Quality of Worklife (QWL) events are sent through campus email.  For additional information, contact QWL Co-Chairs Lori Scoville x6616 and John Turbeville x6660.

XVII. Additional College Resources

XIX. Other Information

College Identification card

College ID cards for ESF employees are issued by the Office of ID card services at Syracuse University.  ESF employees must first obtain an authorization letter from the Office of Human Resources in order to be issued an ID card.

College Map and Directions

A link for directions, maps and area lodging.

Email Account

ESF email accounts are issued by Computing and Network Services.  See for more information. 

Keys and Access Cards

See key policy for the procedure to obtain building keys and/or access cards.


ESF employees who are eligible to park on campus will receive a parking authorization form with their initial appointment letter.  This authorization form should be presented to the University Police Office, 19 Bray, to obtain a parking permit.  For more information on parking regulations, see parking website.