SUNY Empire State College is one of 64 institutions in the State University of New York system. The SUNY system comprises 13 doctoral degree-granting institutions, 13 comprehensive colleges, eight specialized colleges and 30 community colleges. SUNY Empire is one of the 13 comprehensive colleges.
President Lisa Vollendorf, Ph.D., reports to the interim chancellor of the university system, Deborah Stanley, J.D., who reports to the SUNY Board of Trustees.
SUNY Empire also has an external College Council appointed by the governor of New York state and chaired by John Maggiore. The council provides wide-ranging advice to the officer in charge, and, in case of a vacancy, provides recommendations for the college presidency.
SUNY Empire is organized into eight operational divisions: the Office of the President, academic affairs, operations, finance, enrollment management, human resources, advancement and communications and government relations. Each division is led by a senior leader who reports to the president of the college, or officer in charge.