New York State Ethics Commission
Alfred E. Smith State Office Bldg.
80 South Swan Street, 11th Floor, Suite 1147
Albany, NY 12210
Application of Advisory Opinion No. § 03-06
to individuals serving in academic titles at the City
University of New York.
In Advisory Opinion No. 90-15, dated June 21, 1990, the New York State Ethics Commission
("Commission") determined that academic employees of the City University of New York
("CUNY") could meet the financial disclosure filing requirements of Public Officers Law §73-a
by filing a short form with their respective appointing authorities. In Advisory Opinion No. 03-06, the Commission permanently adopted the short form process for CUNY academic
employees. The ruling resulted in the inclusion of one question on CUNY’s pre-existing Multiple
Position Report Form. The Commission delegated to the individual CUNY campuses the
responsibility for collecting and auditing the information received, to identify conflicts or
potential conflicts of interest.
In Advisory Opinion 03-06
, the Commission revisited these earlier opinions, including the
rationale which lead to the short form filing process and determined that it would end the
financial disclosure process applied to academic employees of the State University of New York
(“SUNY”) created by Advisory Opinion No.
90-15 and rendered as permanent in Advisory
Opinion No. 93-06. The Commission delayed application of the opinion to academic employees
of the CUNY system, pending discussions with the CUNY administration and the Professional
Staff Congress, the labor representative to CUNY academic employees.
As CUNY academics are similarly situated to their SUNY counterparts and because there
appears to be no convincing rationale, as discussed in Advisory Opinion No. 03-06, for retaining
the short form filing process, the Commission concludes that the financial disclosure process
created and embodied in Advisory Opinion Nos.
93-06 is hereby discontinued for
academic employees of CUNY.
Beginning with the 2003 filing year1, academic employees of the CUNY system, who earn
in excess of the filing rate, will be required to complete the statutorily mandated financial
disclosure statement set forth in Public Officers Law §73-a, by November 15, 2004.2
Electronic filing of the financial disclosure statements, currently available to all State employees,
will be made available to all academic employees of CUNY. In addition, any CUNY academic
employee who is not engaged in obtaining grants or any other activity as specified in Executive
Law §94(9)(k), may seek an exemption from filing the statutory disclosure statement.3
The Commission will no longer require a supplemental financial disclosure filing for grant
applicants. Nothing contained in this opinion will affect those CUNY employees who have been
designated as policymakers and non-academic employees who earn in excess of the filing
threshold who annually file with the Commission by May 15th.
This opinion, unless and until amended or revoked, is binding on the Commission in any
subsequent proceeding concerning the person who requested it and who acted in good faith,
unless material facts were omitted or misstated by the person in the request for opinion or related
Paul Shechtman, Chair
Robert J. Giuffra, Jr.
Carl H. Loewenson, Jr.
Susan Shepard, Members
Dated: July 13, 2003
1. Public Officers Law §73-a(1)(c)(ii) requires employees of State agencies who are designated
as policy-makers by their appointing authority or who earn an annual salary in excess of the job
rate of State Grade 24 [see, Public Officers Law §73-a(1)(l)] to file the annual statement of
financial disclosure. The term “State agency” includes CUNY [see, Public Officers Law
2. The Commission is extending the statutory deadline for submission of the statements by CUNY
academics to November 15th for reasons attendant to the academic calender year [see, Public
Officers Law §73-a(2)(a)].
3. Policymaking employees may not seek such an exemption [see, Executive Law §94(9)(k)].