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However, the academic programs of all secondary schools were under general supervision of the Regents.Unification of elementary, secondary, and higher education under one administration was considered and rejected by the constitutional conventions of 18, and proposed in legislative bills from time to time.This unwieldy body soon got involved in the day-to-day administration of Columbia.In 1786 a Regents' committee recommended that colleges and academies have their own trustees, and that the Regents be given broader responsibilities for overseeing education in New York.
The latter official shared with the Regents the responsibility to inspect and report on academies.
In 1899 the annual University convocation requested Governor Theodore Roosevelt to name a special commission to study unification.
The commission's report proposed that a new department of education succeed the Department of Public Instruction and include the University, and that the Regents be appointed for fixed terms by the Governor with consent of the Senate.
Since 1894 the University of the State of New York has been continued by the Constitution, which states that its corporate powers "may be increased, modified, or diminished" by the Legislature.
The Regents' protean power to "visit and inspect" member institutions of the University has taken various forms.
The Legislature made the Regents trustees of the State Library and the collections of the State Museum in 18, respectively.