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Capital Region legislators condone UAlbany's split with CNSE

By Lombardo David
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Capital Region delegation of state legislators are supporting the split between the University at Albany and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

"Today is a historic day for the Capital Region and New York State as two of our most vital institutions, University at Albany and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, begin to build a new partnership that promises expanded academic opportunities for students, attracting new research funding for both institutions, greater economic impact and prosperity, and a renewed vibrancy in the communities we all serve," said the coalition.

Included in the coalition are Senators Neil D. Breslin, D-Delmar, Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, and Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, and Assembly members Patricia Fahy, D-Albany, John McDonald, D-Cohoes, and Phil Steck, D-Colonie.

A full news release on the breakup is available below.

"We commend and support the Board of Trustees and Chancellor Zimpher for taking today’s bold action to fully realize the potential of both UAlbany and CNSE as two distinct but interconnected components of our world-class SUNY system," added the coalition.

"We look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with both CNSE and UAlbany to maximize the potential of both institutions as this new chapter begins," the said. "We also want to acknowledge Dr. Robert Jones who in his short time as President has demonstrated his community-minded approach and his vision for UAlbany, Dr. Alain Kaloyeros who has helped transform our region into a global center of nanotechnology research and innovation and H. Carl McCall, Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees.”

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State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher today announced that the pioneering College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering will become a separate institution within the SUNY system by the 2014-15 academic year. The establishment of SUNY CNSE will further cement New York’s position as a global center for nanotechnology innovation, high tech industry and research, and unmatched educational opportunities.

A resolution passed today by the SUNY Board of Trustees endorses Chancellor Zimpher taking immediate steps to separate CNSE from UAlbany and begin work on a new degree granting structure to include CNSE. The board action follows the unanimous recommendation of the Chancellor’s advisory group on the future of CNSE that was comprised of members of the Board of Trustees, SUNY Administration, UAlbany, CNSE, and the Governor’s Office.

“Today, the Board of Trustees took a bold step to capitalize on the NanoCollege’s successful model while ensuring the continued growth and excellence of UAlbany in a win-win for SUNY and New York State,” said Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “This action is reflective of SUNY embracing the new paradigm in higher education of developing entrepreneurial college campuses. We are confident that under the new arrangement, Dr. Jones and Dr. Kaloyeros will take UAlbany and CNSE to the next level and both institutions will be well-positioned to further innovate, commercialize, and expand opportunities for our students.”

“UAlbany deserves enormous credit for incubating the growth of CNSE into the groundbreaking research and innovation center it has become,” said Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. “Because of CNSE’s success, importance to SUNY and New York State, and its unique statewide economic development mission, this is a natural progression in its evolution. It is also a tremendous opportunity for UAlbany to build on its experience with CNSE and the start of a new era of reinvestment and focus for the campus. Today, we begin the thoughtful and deliberative work that is required for an undertaking of this magnitude and many details will need to be addressed as we move forward. I am confident that we are on the precipice of creating something that is new, exciting, statewide in its scope, and the first of its kind in public higher education.”

“As the pioneering research university that spawned CNSE, UAlbany is now poised to capitalize on new academic and research opportunities,” said UAlbany President Robert Jones. “We look forward to embarking on this new partnership with CNSE as we enhance our mission of education, innovation, entrepreneurship, and service to our students and the public.”

“The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is honored and privileged for its new designation within the State University of New York system,” said Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and CEO of CNSE. “We applaud the vision and leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose groundbreaking START-UP NY program further cements his strategic blueprint for public-private partnerships that harness education and innovation to create high-tech jobs and private investments, and enable new opportunities to keep our students living and working in New York. We are grateful for the support of Chairman Carl McCall, the SUNY Board of Trustees, and Chancellor Zimpher, as recognized architects and champions of the Power of SUNY initiative, which is making SUNY a national model for 21st-century education and workforce training, and a catalyst for economic growth in communities statewide. We look forward to our partnership with the University at Albany, under the leadership of Dr. Jones, a passionate and demonstrated leader in academia, as we together build a bright future for our faculty, students, and community.”

In 2011, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State entered into agreements providing for investments valued at a total of $4.4 billion from five leading international companies to create the next generation of computer chip technology at CNSE through the Global 450 Consortium.

CNSE is one of the leading economic drivers in the state and its curriculum and students are on par or superior to any of the top technology institutions in the nation. Currently, CNSE in Albany is home to $14 billion in private sector investment and it has created more than 3,000 jobs in the Capital Region and across Upstate New York. In addition, CNSE has facilities or partnerships in Syracuse, Canandaigua, and Buffalo.

Chancellor Zimpher’s immediate next steps include the establishment of a mutually beneficial Memorandum of Understanding between UAlbany and CNSE, and empanelling an “Implementation Team” of experts from SUNY Administration, the Research Foundation for SUNY, CNSE, and UAlbany to address outstanding issues such as mission, governance, academics, strategic partnerships, innovation, and shared services.

CNSE currently maintains considerable autonomy within UAlbany and already has its own administrative structure. CNSE will continue to compensate UAlbany for student housing, general education courses, access to clubs, activities, dining facilities and other amenities.

In the months ahead, additional partnerships will be aligned under the CNSE umbrella, with the ultimate result being the creation of a statewide campus that expands high-tech educational opportunities for students, increases economic development across Upstate, and allows for efficiencies through shared services and consolidations. Importantly, there will be no additional costs to SUNY or New York State taxpayers.

 
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