March 18, 2014
By: Elizabeth Cooper
Source: Utica Observer-Dispatch
A merger between SUNYIT and Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science
and Engineering will be under consideration Tuesday and Wednesday at a
meeting of the SUNY Board of Trustees.
A draft summary of the
plan, obtained by the Observer-Dispatch, says a new college called SUNY
Institute for Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology, or SUNY
INSET, would be created “through the merger of two equals.”
“A formal merger between SUNY CNSE and SUNYIT will create a new science,
engineering, and technology research and education institution that is
unique in the SUNY system with access to the most advanced, extensive
and complete nanotechnology research and development infrastructure and
academic nanotechnology degree portfolio of any university in the
world,” the document states.
SUNYIT and CNSE already are
working together on the $1.5 billion Computer Chip Commercialization
Center, a public-private partnership at the SUNYIT campus that is under
construction now. CNSE also is helping to market the parcel in Marcy
being groomed to attract a computer chip fabrication plant.
The merger would mark the first time in decades that SUNY has created a new college.
“Chancellor (Nancy) Zimpher strongly believes that a merger between
CNSE and SUNYIT will form a unique and powerful new high-tech SUNY
campus, positioning affordable public higher education in New York at
the pinnacle of next generation research and academic instruction,” a
SUNY spokesman said. “She is recommending the plan to the Board because
it sets a high bar for what a 21st century entrepreneurial college
campus is capable of achieving for its students, communities, the state,
and the country.”
The proposal will go before the SUNY Board
of Trustees’ Academic Affairs Committee Tuesday and, if passed by the
committee, the full board will vote Wednesday.
Local officials have been supportive of the plan.
“This is something that makes a lot of sense and is an opportunity
to build more technical capacity from a research side and a degree
granting side here in Marcy and helps support NanoUtica and Marcy
nanocenter initiatives,” said Mohawk Valley EDGE economic development
agency President Steve DiMeo.