CCNY venture starts

Oct. 12, 2011, 3:05 a.m.

Stanford University, the City University of New York (CUNY) and City College of New York (CCNY) announced Tuesday morning the creation of “Stanford@CCNY,” a joint venture serving as an East Coast test site for Stanford’s undergraduate program in entrepreneurship, technology and related areas.

More commonly known as City College, a senior college within the CUNY school system, CCNY’s partnership with Stanford is part of the University’s response to city Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s call for a top-quality engineering and applied sciences campus in New York City.

The conversation exploring the possibility of collaboration with CCNY began in July when New York City issued its request for proposal (RFP) for an applied sciences campus, according to University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin in an email to The Daily. School of Engineering Dean Jim Plummer and University President John Hennessy visited CCNY last month to further explore the possibility of a partnership, Lapin said.

Lapin added that CCNY will not be partnering with the University in its proposal to build a campus on Roosevelt Island.

While this collaboration with CCNY is the first NYC-based partnership that the University has announced since it declared an interest in submitting a proposal to build the applied sciences campus, Lapin said that the possibility of partnering with other institutions remains open.

“We have had many conversations with potential partners, and those conversations continue; so we do not rule out that we might have additional collaborations with other institutions,” Lapin said.

The CUNY partnership is separate from the University’s proposal to build a graduate applied science campus on Roosevelt Island of New York City. The University, which proposes to expand the campus to eventually accommodate 100 faculty and 2,000 students, will submit an official proposal to the New York City Economic Development Corporation by Oct. 28. The city will make a decision by the end of the calendar year.

Though the collaboration began in response to the applied sciences campus RFP, Lapin said that the future of the Stanford@CCNY partnership remains independent of Stanford’s bid.

“The undergraduate curriculum will start right away, and we anticipate it will be a longstanding collaboration, regardless of the success of our applied sciences bid,” Lapin said. “We would look forward to a long and fruitful association with CCNY and CUNY.”

Should Stanford’s proposal for a New York campus be accepted, Stanford@CCNY will offer joint BA/MA and BS/MS programs created by faculty from both schools. Some CCNY students will be able to pursue a co-terminal MS degree from Stanford along with their BS degree from CCNY.

Stanford would offer its academic program at CCNY until late 2016, when the proposed New York campus would be completed. Stanford would renovate and temporarily use up to 20,000 square feet of classroom space at CCNY and space for up to 20 Stanford faculty.

After this point, CUNY and CCNY would retain permanent use of the renovated facilities. President Hennessy has not yet commented on what would happen should another school be awarded the right to build the applied sciences campus.

The total cost this venture would incur to Stanford has yet to be determined, but Lapin said that working in CCNY space is “ideal” for the two schools.

“There are costs and also savings, and additional non-monetary benefits to both Stanford and CCNY,” she said. “If we were to rent and configure temporary space anywhere in the vicinity of Manhattan, there would be a cost.”

Under this collaboration, the University will also host CCNY students each summer in its Research Experience for Undergraduates Program. Another project, Stanford@CCNY’s innovation program, is being funded by a five-year, $10 million grant from the National Science Program to Stanford’s Technology Venture Program, Lapin said.

“We believe there is tremendous potential through our partnership with CUNY to bring Stanford’s curriculum to some of the best and brightest students in New York and to help them go on to make significant economic contributions to New York City and New York State,” Hennessy told the Stanford Report.

City College is located in Harlem on the island of Manhattan and has a 35-acre campus spanning 11 blocks from 130th Street to 141st Street on Convent Avenue. It is the oldest of CUNY’s 23 colleges and universities.

– Kristian Davis Bailey contributed to this report.

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