Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest scheme to foster tech talent in New York City called for a world-class university to establish a significant presence here, and he’s gotten a few nibbles. One is from a big fish: Stanford University is seriously considering a research and engineering campus in New York and announced some specifics as to what one might look like.
Recall: “A new, state-of-the-art applied sciences research school would be a major asset for New York City as we develop a 21st century innovation economy,” our mayor said in December. “The City is committed to finding the right partner … to establish such a facility.”
Stanford president John Hennessy, who grew up in Long Island and got his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science at SUNY-Stony Brook, pitched the idea to his faculty last week. “The opportunity presented by the city of New York is one that Stanford should at least explore. The concept as laid out by New York plays to many of our strengths, particularly the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes this university,” he said.
Faculty are supportive, Dr. Hennessy told the Stanford Daily, and the university is working on its formal expression of interest.
The initial concept calls for a center focused on information technology, at first with 25 faculty from the School of Engineering and the Graduate School of Business, serving 125 doctoral students and 250 or more master’s degree students. The East and West Coast campuses would share courses and “support cross-country research collaborations.”
“The time is coming for universities to be in more than one location,” Dr. Hennessy said.
Stanford was one of 20 universities from four continents that attended an information session in New York earlier this month. Other contenders for the city campus include Cornell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Purdue, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay is also in the hunt. Formal expressions of interest are due to the city by March 16. The city hopes to release a more targeted and specific request for proposals by summer, and select a partner by the end of the year.
“A number of very strong institutions both from within and outside of New York have expressed interest, and we’re eager to hear from them. Our goal is to create an applied sciences campus that promotes New York City as the 21st century capital of innovation to match its standing as a global capital of other industries, like finance, media and fashion,” said Andrew Brent, spokesperson for Mayor Bloomberg.
The city indicated it’s committed to the project “despite these difficult fiscal times.”