Trustees approve SUNY College of Nanoscience - Institute of Technology merger

(Nanowerk News) The State University of New York Board of Trustees today unanimously approved Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher’s recommendation to merge the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and the SUNY Institute of Technology.
The SUNY Institute of Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology will have principal physical locations in Albany and Utica/Rome, with additional existing and future university-industry partnerships across the State of New York that focus on enabling innovation, providing education and workforce training, and maximizing technology transfer and economic development.
By formally aligning two institutions with complementary missions and academic programs, SUNY will position affordable public higher education in New York at the pinnacle of scholarly excellence in high-tech academic instruction and research.
The announcement builds on SUNYIT’s strong existing ties with CNSE, including being partners in Governor Cuomo’s $1.5 billion Nano Utica initiative. Merging with CNSE will help SUNYIT stabilize and expand financially, and continue to grow enrollment and programs.
The new institution will enhance opportunities for Mohawk Valley students, including access to world-class facilities, while creating a career-ready workforce that will help attract and retain high-tech companies in the region and the state. In addition to maintaining all current SUNYIT programs and faculty, the merger will enable SUNYIT to significantly build and expand on its current disciplines and initiatives.
CNSE is unique within the SUNY system and higher education. Its curriculum and students are on par or superior to any of the top science and engineering institutions in the country. It is also one of the leading economic drivers in the state. CNSE has attracted over $22 billion in private sector investment that has created more than 13,000 jobs in the Capital Region and across upstate New York, including innovation and commercialization hubs in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica, generating billions in private investments and creating an additional 3,000 jobs in upstate, as announced by Governor Cuomo.
“The SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is unique and innovative in public higher education anywhere in the country, and because of the hard work of so many across SUNY, it will now be part of something even bigger and more groundbreaking,” said SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “This next stage in its growth will bring the combined strengths of two institutions under a single structure, providing an unparalleled experience for students and driving economic development across New York. The Board extends its gratitude to Governor Cuomo and Chancellor Zimpher, as well as Dr. Robert Jones, Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, and Dr. Robert Geer. Their continued leadership and guidance will ensure the newest SUNY campus meets New York’s, and the country’s, need to produce more STEM graduates and more high tech career training.”
“The merger of CNSE and SUNYIT sets a high bar for what a 21st-century entrepreneurial college campus can achieve for the Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, and the entire State of New York,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “We are bringing together two institutions with similar missions and existing partnerships to create a high-tech academic and economic development juggernaut that does not exist anywhere else in public higher education. We will make this process seamless for our students, faculty, and employees while producing what will be an internationally recognized polytechnic institution, and we’ll do it for less money. This is a historic day for SUNY.”
“The SUNYIT-CNSE partnership is a major victory to the faculty, staff, and students of both partners," said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, CEO of CNSE. “Governor Cuomo had already recognized the potential of our combined resources when he brought us together to realize his $1.5 billion Nano Utica initiative. The merger will not only guarantee that all faculty and staff will maintain their current positions and portfolios but, more importantly, it will create countless exciting opportunities for growth and expansion. We applaud the SUNY Board of Trustees and Chancellor Zimpher for their vision and leadership, and look forward to working with the faculty, staff, and student stakeholders to establish a globally recognized institution for research and education.”
“Today’s action by the Board builds on the strategic alliance SUNYIT and CNSE have built over the last several years, one that has already expanded opportunities for students even as it lays the groundwork for unprecedented economic growth in the Mohawk Valley and all of New York State,” said SUNYIT Interim President Dr. Robert Geer. “In concert with Governor Cuomo’s Nano Utica initiative, the creation of a new, merged institution will strengthen and grow SUNYIT's academic, research, and outreach programs and will have a profound and positive transformational impact on our region and state.”
“UAlbany will do all we can to ensure a positive and seamless transition for students and faculty in the nanotechnology degree programs and to see that this initiative is a success for students, New York’s citizens, and the SUNY system,” said UAlbany President Dr. Robert Jones. “We will continue our focus on fulfilling the promise of academic excellence for our 17,000 talented and bright undergraduate and graduate students. As the only public research university in the Capital Region, we will continue to increase the range of our degree and non-degree programs, expand academic opportunity for a growing diverse student population, enroll more out-of-state and international students, attract world-class faculty, and deepen our engagement with the Capital Region community.”
The Board of Trustees resolution, which states that Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros will provide executive leadership of the new institution, and a detailed report to the trustees on the merger, prepared by the chairs of the UAlbany/CNSE/SUNYIT Transition Implementation Teams, are available online.
The decision to merge institutions follows a Board resolution in July 2013 directing the Chancellor to develop a new degree-granting structure that would include CNSE. There were extensive deliberations with all stakeholders including UAlbany, CNSE, SUNYIT, the Research Foundation for SUNY, faculty, students, and elected officials. A number of working groups were established, culminating in the determination that merging and creating a unique new SUNY campus would maximize UAlbany’s, CNSE’s, and SUNYIT’s abilities to serve their current and future students, as well as their communities, and to advance SUNY’s public mission across New York State.
The merger has the support of the UAlbany President and College Council Chair, CNSE Senior Vice President and CEO, SUNYIT Interim President and College Council, who, along with faculty and students, will continue to be actively involved in consultation as the process moves forward.
Through this new institution, CNSE will maintain a mutually beneficial partnership with UAlbany, similar to the long established relationship between SUNY ESF and Syracuse University. CNSE will continue to compensate UAlbany for any services, including student housing, general education courses, access to clubs, activities, dining facilities, and other amenities, as well as provide academic and educational support to UAlbany faculty, staff, and students.
The merger will result in cost savings for the SUNY system through streamlined campus-level administrative functions, shared services, and management efficiencies. There will be no additional costs for students or taxpayers. It is not an expansion of the SUNY system as the number of campuses will remain at 64.
Source: SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
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