SUNY Board Outlines Plan to Increase Use of Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs)

January 25, 2012

New York City – The State University of New York Board of Trustees today outlined an aggressive plan for SUNY campuses and System Administration to help New York State meet and exceed its goals for the utilization of Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).

“Increasing the utilization of MWBEs is an important element of SUNY’s contribution to the growth, vibrancy, and diversity of New York State’s economy,” said Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “Governor Cuomo has made access for MWBE enterprises a central part of his agenda. I am proud to say that SUNY is up to the task of assisting the Governor to achieve this critical goal.”

“SUNY exceeded overall goals in the procurement of commodities and services for the first time in 2010-2011,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “This is a great accomplishment for each of our campuses and for SUNY as a whole, but we can do even better, and with this renewed commitment we will do better.”

SUNY’s university-wide MWBE goals for 2011-12 include using at least 20 percent MWBE for all construction, construction-related services, non-construction-related services, and commodities at state-operated campuses.

Today’s resolution requires an annual report to the Board of Trustees on MWBE utilization, including encumbrances to utilization of MWBEs and future plans to overcome those encumbrances. The resolution also puts in place mandatory staff training with respect to the utilization of MWBEs for procurement and construction procedures at the system’s state-operated campuses. The enhanced training will be developed by System Administration and be given to campus staff whose responsibilities include purchasing and construction-related procurement.

System Administration will also make modifications to its central accounting system and work with the Department of Economic Development (DED) to allow automated reporting by campuses of the payments by prime contractors, who are hired by SUNY, to MBE and WBE sub-contractors and sub-consultants in order for campuses to receive credit for using these businesses.

In addition, promptly after the end of each fiscal year, the chief financial officer at System Administration will report to the Board of Trustees the total amount and percentage of expenditures for contracts that each state-operated campus made with state-certified MBEs and WBEs and discuss strategies to increase the University’s contracting with these business entities.

In 1981, Governor Hugh Carey issued Executive Order 117, which prescribed arrangements for establishing a program for Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), and in 1983 Governor Mario Cuomo issued Executive Order 21 to include Women and established an Executive Committee on Minority and Women Owned Business Development (M/WBE). Since 1983, it has been SUNY’s policy to take affirmative action to ensure that minority- and women-owned business enterprises are given the opportunity to participate in providing the University with goods and services at competitive prices.

On February 17, 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued Executive Order 8, Removing Barriers to Minority and Women Business Enterprises’ Participation in State Contracting; there have been recent amendments to NYS Executive Law Article 15-A (Ch. 175 L. 2010) that establish state-wide MWBE utilization goals, allow an agency to institute agency-specific goals, and impose sanctions on agencies that substantially fail to meet their goals.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2017, more than 430,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served nearly 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2016-17 academic year. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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