Dutchess Community College functions under the auspices of the State University of New York and is sponsored by Dutchess County. The College is governed by a board of trustees consisting of 10 members, four appointed by the governor of the State of New York and five by the Dutchess County legislature. The tenth member, a student trustee, is the student government president elected by the students annually.

The fifth president of the College, Pamela R. Edington, Ed.D., was appointed by the board of trustees in August 2014.

DCC is committed to shared governance, a model that provides a structure for campus participation in planning, policy development and decision-making. The Professional Staff Organization of faculty and non-teaching educators and the Student Government Association are the primary mechanisms through which the voices of constituencies are heard.