Public Art on Campus

Policy Information
Policy TitlePublic Art on Campus
Responsible OfficeOffice of the Vice President for Advancement
Policy TypeFacilities and Property
Policy Number415
Last Revision Date8/17/2023


This policy establishes uniform and consistent procedures regarding approval for the selection, acceptance, acquisition, removal, location and maintenance of public art and all other Binghamton University branding and associated projects. The policy will have regulation over, but not be limited to artworks, signage, textiles, banners, printed materials, murals and mixed-media displays, that are accessible to the public as well as alterations or additions on campus grounds. This policy will also include indoor artworks or projects as defined by the policy with spaces in and outside of buildings considered public spaces, building facades and lobbies. This will include purchased gifts, loans or any other individual or group visual project on campus.

This administration and regulation of this University policy applies to all members of the University community including faculty, staff, students, alumni and visitors. All works are required to meet this University policy regulation and must have the approval of the Campus Appearance Committee and Senior Officer’s Group (SOG). Any work that doesn’t have approval could be subject to removal.

Public Art is defined as permanent or temporary art in public spaces on campus. Accepted public art becomes the management responsibility of the Division of Academic Affairs with assistance as needed from the Division of Operations. All current public art on campus would be grandfathered in as accepted public art work as of August 1, 2018.

Criteria for Selection and Acceptance of Public Art

  1. Public art should display a high level of artistic quality and craftsmanship that supports and enhances the academic, physical and aesthetic environment and creative missions of Binghamton University.
  2. The works’ subject shall be consistent with current standards and policies of the Binghamton University community.
  3. All works on campus must be made from materials that shall be structurally sound and present no environmental or potential safety hazard. Materials must be durable and able to withstand upstate New York weather conditions and resist vandalism. All risk-management issues must be approved in order to guarantee the safety of the work of art, as well as the safety of the public interacting with it. The Office of Risk-Management shall be consulted at the concept stage of proposed public art pieces.
  4. The site must be appropriate, including suitability to the site’s adjacent architecture and its scale, purpose and landscaping.
  5. Consideration must be given to the University’s ability to assure the proper long-term care of the individual work of public art, including security, conservation and maintenance.
  6. The University’s ability to manage effectively the long-term stewardship of the donor relationship must be considered for donated works of art.
  7. The contribution of an individual work of art can be expected to contribute to the University’s educational mission, as well as to the existing collection of public art; both should be considered.
  8. All proposals must work in concert with campus planning and other University agencies in accordance with consideration of campus memorials and tributes that will affect landscaping, buildings and campus activities.
  9. The art must meet established committee policies affecting proposed signage, both permanent and temporary.


The University’s Art Museum is responsible for coordinating installation of public art pieces. When necessary, the museum may work with the physical facilities department or outside vendors who are trained in the installation of art pieces.

Facilities Management in conjunction with the Director of the Art Museum will provide reasonable efforts to deter vandalism and protect the artwork.

The department or division requesting sponsoring the public art is responsible for the cost of installation and funding of annual maintenance. Art that require extensive or unusual maintenance, site preparation, utility usage may incur an annual maintenance charge.

Maintenance funding for campus art pieces is based on the assumption the piece is a University or art museum-accessioned piece. The director of the Art Museum will work with the Campus Appearance Committee to determine whether an art piece is to be in the museum’s collection or University owned.

Art that are accessioned by the Art Museum will have maintenance funded through the Art Museum. Art considered University owned will have their maintenance funded through Academic Affairs or the appropriate department sponsoring the work.

Donations, Gifts and Loaned Artwork:

All public art gifts, loans or temporary exhibits intended to be displayed for extended periods of time in the University’s public setting are subject to the same criteria standards detailed above. The Campus Appearance Committee and The Senior Officer’s Group reserves final decision-making authority on the selection of work and site placement.


Commissioning of an artist: Gifts of artwork to the campus that involve commissioning of an artist for a work that is not in existence shall be handled by the vice president for advancement. The follow procedure would follow:

  • The Campus Appearance Committee shall review and approve the names of the artists submitted.
  • The donating individual or group shall be prepared to pay a nominal fee to the selected artist for preparation of a model(s) or concept(s) of the proposed gift. That will then be presented to the selection committee.
  • The decision on the piece of art placed on campus shall be made by a selection committee composed of the following: one person selected by the donating individual or group; a representative of the campus department housing the work; the director of the Binghamton University Art Museum; a member of the Advancement division and a representative of the Campus Appearance Committee. The decision of the selection committee will then be passed on to the Senior Officer’s group for a final decision.

Donor gift of public artwork

If a donor who wishes to donate artwork to the University must consult with the vice president for advancement. In these instances, the vice president for advancement shall consult with the Campus Appearance Committee who will make a determination on whether it meets the criteria for being displayed on campus. Donors will be asked to provide costs required for annual maintenance and repairs.


  1. Portraits without a donation should be submitted to the appropriate dean or vice president for approval. If the portrait will be displayed in a non-public area (such as an office or department lobby), it does not require approval from the Campus Appearance Committee. Portraits in public space must be approved by the Campus Appearance Committee.
  2. Portraits with a donation should be submitted to the vice president of advancement and must have the approval of the Campus Appearance Committee to be displayed in public. If the portrait will be displayed in a non-public area (such as an office or department lobby), it does not require approval from the Campus Appearance Committee.

Artwork on Campus/Works by Students

(Student proposals for outdoor art work)

  1. Each specific proposal from a student/student organization to use an area at the University to install outdoor artwork shall be presented to the Campus Appearance Committee. This committee has approval of the site of the artwork.
  2. All contributions or proposals of works of art or any other related project (temporary or permanent) by students of the University must be approved by the Campus Appearance Committee in accordance with the committee’s review criteria policy mentioned above. Temporary is defined as no more than 31 calendar days. Events defined as public activities or setups that last a maximum of five days, such as short, public art installations, video projections or other activities, will meet the same outdoor requirements and authorization.

Procedure for Public Art and Portrait requests

  1. A written request providing the following information must be submitted to the appropriate vice president or dean as early as possible prior to proposed installation. The request should include the following:
    1. Concept rendering or model of the public art piece
    2. A paragraph on the significance of the art piece
    3. Proposed location and placement of the art
    4. Proposed installation date and de-installation date
  2. Following concurrence of the dean and/or vice president, the request will be forwarded to the Campus Appearance Committee.
  3. The Campus Appearance Committee will make a decision on whether or not the art work will be displayed on campus. At their discretion, The Campus Appearance Committee will submit recommendations to the Senior Office’s Group for final approval.

Relocating or Removing Artwork

The criteria for determining whether an art piece on campus should be removed or relocated include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. When the condition or security of the exterior public art cannot be reasonably guaranteed.
  2. When the exterior public art has been damaged or has deteriorated and repair is impractical or unfeasible.
  3. When the exterior public art endangers public safety.
  4. In the case of site-specific exterior public art, when the art's relationship to the site is altered because of changes to the site.
  5. When the exterior public art has been determined to be incompatible within the context of the entire campus collection.
  6. When the work lacks sufficient aesthetic merit or historical importance to warrant retention.
  7. When the University is unable to conserve the object in a responsible and cost-effective manner.
  8. When the work is unduly difficult or impossible to care for or store properly.

*Campus Appearance Committee

The Binghamton University Campus Appearance Committee is a decision-making body responsible for, among other duties, directing and managing public art and commemorative elements on campus. And when necessary making recommendations to the Senior Officer’s Group for a final decision.

The Campus Appearance Committee (CAC): The president of the University appoints the members of the CAC with representation as follows:

  1. The Committee is comprised of at least nine members as follows: one of whom is a faculty member in the art or art history department
    1. two of whom have served at the University no less than 10 years
    2. one of whom is the AVP of advancement
    3. one of whom is a Binghamton University student
    4. one of whom is a staff member of the Division of Student Affairs
    5. two of whom are staff members of Facilities Management
    6. two of whom are members of Communications and Marketing
    7. one of whom is chosen at the president’s discretion
    8. one of whom is a staff member of the Athletics Department
    9. one of whom is the director of the Art Museum
    10. one of whom is a member of the Research Division
  2. The University president will designate the chair of the committee from among the faculty or staff members. The chair of the committee will designate the secretary who is responsible for maintaining records. The term of appointment for faculty and staff members, including the position of chair, shall be four years, with the possibility of reappointment. The Binghamton University student representative shall serve a term of one year with the possibility of reappointment. The Campus Appearance Committee shall work closely with the director of the Art Museum in regard to all public art donated or on loan to the museum.
  3. The Campus Appearance Committee shall maintain of inventory of Public Art on the campus and who is responsible for maintenance.