CCNY partnership will ‘absolutely continue’

Jan. 10, 2012, 3:05 a.m.

In spite of Stanford’s decision to withdraw its application from the competition to build an applied science campus in New York City, the University’s partnership with the City College of New York (CCNY) will “absolutely continue,” according to a recent University press release, which also stated the two schools would be “moving forward with a joint development of an undergraduate curriculum in entrepreneurship.”


Stanford submitted a bid to build a $2.5 billion graduate school of applied science and engineering on Roosevelt Island at the end of last October, responding to the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s  (NYCEDC) request for proposals. Two weeks before Stanford unveiled its final proposal, the University announced that it had partnered with CCNY, which would have temporarily hosted Stanford’s academic program by providing space for faculty and classes until the proposed Roosevelt Island campus was completed.


Instead, Stanford withdrew from the contest in mid-December. Three days later, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that NYCEDC had selected a joint proposal prepared by Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology as the winner.


CCNY was not involved in Stanford’s decision to withdraw its application, according to CCNY officials. CCNY President Lisa Coico joined Stanford President John Hennessy and other Stanford administrators in the first-round interview with NYCEDC, but CCNY was not involved in the subsequent negotiation process with the city, which was handled by a smaller Stanford team. Stanford also prepared its final proposal independently from CCNY.


CCNY officials said they are disappointed that the partnership as initially envisioned through the Roosevelt Island bid could not go forward, but also said that they are prepared to play a significant role in enabling Stanford to create a robust presence in New York City through other means, stating that CCNY would be willing to provide on-campus space and other amenities necessary for Stanford to accomplish that goal.


Mary Edmondson, the vice president for communications at CCNY, said that the continued “partnership [with Stanford] will provide transformational opportunities for our students and our faculty scholars. Reciprocally, we will be able to provide research opportunities for Stanford students and faculty in New York City.”


Stanford and CCNY have built a strong partnership that isn’t directly related to the proposal for the Roosevelt Island campus, according to officials at both universities, who said a by-product of this collaboration is the continued development of a joint curriculum. Like all university curricula, the curriculum of this program would be developed by faculty and then reviewed by the appropriate faculty senate and senior institutional leaders at each of the respective institutions.


“We are still having conversations about how that might be possible without a Stanford faculty presence in New York City,” said Lisa Lapin, assistant vice president for university communications at Stanford, in an email to The Daily.


Under the Roosevelt Island bid, “the best undergraduate engineering students” at CCNY would have been able to apply during their junior or senior year to co-term and earn a Stanford master’s degree, according to Lapin in a follow-up email. She said those students would have attended classes at the new applied science campus in NYC.


“The idea was that they would attend Stanford classes in NYC, so without those classes being held there we need to rethink how such a program would work,” Lapin said.


Lapin added that now that Stanford has withdrawn its bid, CCNY students would “likely need to come here for the master’s degrees.”


The collaboration process on the joint curriculum has already begun. Lapin cited the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) as an example of a similar collaboration project.


STVP, which is located in Stanford University’s School of Engineering, is made up of entrepreneurship educators, faculty and staff. The program was given a five-year, $10 million grant by the National Science Foundation and is “dedicated to accelerating high-technology entrepreneurship research and education for engineers and scientists worldwide,” according to its brochure.


However, Lapin noted that “CCNY will be the first campus we work with, and that partnership is already under way.”


“As a first step, [we] are looking to send a cohort of our most talented students to the summer research experience for undergraduates or the Summer Institute for General Management [SIGM] at Stanford,” Edmonson said.


College juniors, seniors and recent graduates can apply to SIGM, which is a summer program hosted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Select students “receive the academic instruction, professional guidance and leadership training essential for making an immediate impact in the workplace,” according to the program’s website.


Lapin said the exact number of CCNY students participating in the program is “not yet known.”


“Our partnership remains strong, and we anticipate that elements of the collaborations that we have been discussing will ultimately go forward,” Edmonson said.

Catherine Zaw was formerly the Managing Editor of News for Vol. 245 and Vol. 246. To contact her, please email [email protected]

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