The University Faculty Senate of the City University of New York

 535 E. 80th Street, New York, NY 10021 - 212-794-5538 (phone), 212-794-5508 (fax) Email 

Sapienta est Potestas  

New York State Freedom Of Information Law

FOIL Requests

Please examine the attached document carefully. It contains :
1. current CUNY procedures for FOIL requests
2. December 1, 2008 memo to all CUNY Presidents from Vice Chancellor Frederick P. Schaffer with the new procedures
3. NY State Law 
Please look closely at the memo describing the new CUNY procedures and requirements for FOIL requests.  The NY State statute revisions provide more forceful measures to insure that legitimate requests are replied to PROMPTLY(5 days)  and adequately handled.
Request can be made for data in different mediums and for data to be taken from various database in a manner specified by those making the request.

See sample language below.

There is now a measure for complaint over compliance with the law.  Such notices of violations are to be made to the :

NY State Committee on Open Government                                                            NY State Department of State,                                                                               One Commerce Plaza,                                                                                          99 Washington Avenue,                                                                                       Albany, NY 12231

Daniel E. Shapiro
First Deputy Secretary of State

Ricardo Aguirre
Counsel to the Secretary of State

Mailing Addresses and Phone Numbers
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza,
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231-0001
Phone: (518) 474-4752
Fax: (518) 474-4597
Department of State
123 William Street
New York, NY 10038-3804
Tel:  (212) 417-5800
Fax: (212)-417-2383

CUNY and each of its colleges must post the procedures and the rights on the websites and the right to register complaints.

We would like reports on the the degree of compliance of our CUNY Colleges with the statute.  If you do make a request under FOIL please inform us of the response you receive.
Here are some examples of what Faculty Governance Leaders might want to request:
1. The College Budget
2. The Budget and expenditures of the College Fund
3. Indirect Costs and their disposition
4. percentage of classes taught by adjuncts - by department

New York State Committee on Open Government

Freedom of Information Law


DATE Month , day, year

FOIL Request

NAME :Person designated to receive FOIL requests or Legal Counsel to President or BOT


Dear XXXX,

I am writing on behalf of (self or organization or unit of the college, such as the governance body), in accordance with the provisions of the New York State Freedom of Information Law, to ask that you please provide me with copies of all the records described below:

[DESCRIPTION of INFORMATION requested or specific documents]

I wish to make it clear that we want all records identifiable with this request, even though reports on those records or copies of the records have been sent to other offices and even though there may be apparent duplication between the records in more than one office.

If documents are denied in part, please specify the exemptions claimed for each page or passage. For documents withheld in their entirety please state, in addition, the date of and the number of pages in each document.

Please advise me of any destruction of records and include the date of and authority for such destruction.

I want to see complete sets of records, but if complete sets of records are not extant, then we wish to see any portion of the requested records that exist.

Time is of the essence in this matter; if some of the requested records are more readily available than others, I want to see any available records at the earliest opportunity. Please do not delay making any of the requested records available because other requested records are not yet found, redacted, or otherwise prepared for release.

I request an acknowledgement of this request within five working days, as provided in the "Uniform Rules and Regulations for All City Agencies Pertaining to the Administration of the Freedom of Information Law," Title 43, Rules of the City of New York, Ch. 1. I request that you to release the requested records within ten working days of your acknowledgement, as provided in the Rules. I will deem this request to have been denied if you do not comply with the Rules.

If you have any questions about this request, please contact me by telephone (or fax). My telephone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx; my fax number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks in advance for your cooperation and assistance.






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