Volunteer Policy

Volunteer Policy


Office of Human Resources


Associate Vice President for Human Resources


Human Resources



Effective Date:


Implementation History:




Background Information:


This policy was created in compliance with SUNY Volunteer Policy and serve as guidance for the university.


Volunteer - A volunteer is an individual appointed at the university in a non-compensated capacity.


It is the policy of the State University of New York Empire State University to appoint volunteers for the occasional use in conducting its normal operations and for University-sponsored programs and activities. All volunteer appointments must be reviewed and approved by the vice president, provost or vice provost of the department or center and the Office of Human Resources.

University volunteers will not perform responsibilities generally assigned to employees represented by collective bargaining agreements. Examples of volunteer duties, as stated in the SUNY Volunteer Policy “include supervising of field experiences for students; assisting in museums, libraries, theaters, and laboratories; assisting in activities relating to fund raising and campus improvement projects; and serving as guides. Volunteers may also include the spouses of campus presidents who may be appointed as SUNY Associates.  An employee of a state or local government may not volunteer to his/her own agency services of the same type the employee is employed to perform.”

Properly appointed and recorded volunteers are covered under the Worker’s Compensation Law should they be injured while performing their volunteer duties. Such appointments require that the volunteers complete an oath of office.

Section 17 of the Public Officers Law provides that the NYS Attorney General will defend these volunteers should they become involved in litigation that pertains to an incident involving their volunteer duties as long as the volunteers did not intentionally engage in wrong doing. Properly appointed volunteers may also be granted permission to operate State vehicles and operate State equipment as required for fulfilling their volunteer duties. Volunteers are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

NYS Public Officers Law, Section 17

SUNY Policy:  Defense and Indemnification of State Officers and Employees‌ - http://www.suny.edu/sunypp/documents.cfm?doc_id=529

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices


Department Directors, Associate Deans or Deans wishing to utilize volunteers must submit a signed Application for Volunteer Services form which describes the following: nature of the work to be performed, qualifications of the proposed volunteer, duration of assignment, and person responsible for supervising the volunteer.

The Department or Division supervisor making the request is responsible for reviewing the applications for completeness, authorizing the request, and submitting it to the appropriate vice president, provost or vice provost for approval. Upon approval, this individual will also be responsible for completing applicable references.

The Application for Volunteer Services must be reviewed by the divisional vice president, provost, vice provost or designee, for reasonableness and need, prior to any volunteer work commencing.

Following receipt of the completed Application, the Office of Human Resources will work with the supervisor to provide the volunteer with applicable University policies and procedures.

A volunteer appointment may be terminated at any time with no explanation and without prior warning.


NYS Public Officers Law:


Oath of Office Card:


Volunteer Application form (PDF 293kB)

Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read PDF documents. If Acrobat Reader is not installed on your computer, you can download it for free from Adobe. If you are unable to use the file, please contact Human.Resources@esc.edu for assistance.