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 State college is one of the 13 comprehensive colleges.
President Merodie Hancock reports to the chancellor of the university, Dr. Nancy Zimpher, who reports to the SUNY Board of Trustees.
Empire State College also has an external College Council appointed by the governor of New York state and chaired by James W. Lytle. The council provides wide-ranging advice to the president, and in case of a vacancy, provides recommendations for the college presidency.
Empire State College is organized into eight operational divisions: the Office of the President, academic affairs, administration, integrated technology, enrollment management and student services, external affairs, communications and government relations and planning and institutional effectiveness. Each division is led by a vice president who reports to the president of the college.