The Board of Regents sets overall education policy for the State of New York and heads The University of the State of New York (USNY). While USNY has one main purpose - providing knowledge and skills to all - it carries this policy out in many ways.
The Board of Regents includes 17 members elected by the State Legislature for five-year terms. Thirteen of the Regents represent the State's 13 judicial districts, one from each district, and four are at-large. (Judicial District III is currently vacant). The Regents serve without salary.
The Regents choose a Commissioner of Education who heads The State Education Department and also serves as the President of the University of the State of New York. Generally, the Regents set policy while the Commissioner has responsibility for carrying out policy.
The University of the State of New York (USNY) is the most complete, interconnected system of educational services in the United States. USNY includes:
Although these organizations are dedicated to maintaining and improving education, they usually work within their respective sector. Each entity of this educational system is both an official and organic component of the University of the State of New York. The challenge and the opportunity are for the sectors to work together as a whole bringing unmatched resources in people, information, facilities, technology, artifacts, and relationships to face educational issues of the twenty-first century.