Binghamton University presents economic development plan for New York state


Agenda to jump-start new era of productive returns to Southern Tier

BINGHAMTON, NY – Addressing the Executive Committee of the SUNY Board of Trustees, Binghamton University’s Vice President of Administration, James Van Voorst, today presented a proposal to the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program, outlining a plan to increase enrollment and add jobs to the local community and New York state.

The NYSUNY Challenge Grant Program – introduced by Governor Cuomo and SUNY Chancellor Zimpher earlier this year – allows Binghamton University and the other three SUNY university centers to apply for up to $35 million in state grant funds for academic enhancements and capital development. The mission of the program is to make SUNY a leading catalyst for job growth throughout the state.

Binghamton University’s proposal lays out an ambitious agenda that includes an expansion of its educational mission while investing in the campus and the local community, resulting in an annual overall economic impact of $800 million on the region and $1.1 billion on New York state.

The five-year strategic plan: 

• Expands enrollment by 2,000 students.

• Funds the construction of a new Health and Natural Sciences facility.

• Supports a new Southern Tier Economic Development Center in downtown Binghamton.

• Creates 1,300 jobs in the local economy, including 150 faculty positions; and approximately 1,600 across the state. 

A key component of Binghamton’s plan is enrollment growth, which offers greater access to the University’s much sought-after educational programs. With the enrollment growth comes population growth, which in turn drives an increase in the University’s economic impact in the local community and adds to revitalization efforts of Southern Tier communities.

The plan includes the construction of a state-of-the-art Health and Natural Sciences facility, which connects Binghamton’s expertise in the natural sciences with its growing infrastructure in engineering and biotechnology to create new medical and life sciences technologies. In addition to enhancing industrial and academic partnerships, the facility will provide incubation space for start-up businesses, as well as develop regional research and educational partnerships with hospitals, healthcare organizations, and biomedical technology firms. By catalyzing interactions between researchers and local industry, the Health and Natural Sciences facility will establish Binghamton University, the region and New York state as the center for research on healthcare innovations.

Additionally, the plan calls for the establishment of the Southern Tier Economic Development Center, which will provide economic development resources and expertise for businesses and organizations throughout the Southern Tier and the I-81 and I-86 corridors. The center will join University initiatives such as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Trade Adjustment Administration Center (TAAC) and the Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR), with regional resources, such as the Greater Binghamton Chamber, the Broome County IDA, the Alliance for Manufacturing and Technology, and entrepreneurship programs in local and regional high schools, Broome Community College and Binghamton University, in a unprecedented regional collaboration. Serving as a “one-stop shop,” the new center will shepherd new businesses during the various stages of growth by offering support such as flexible incubator space and short programs on product and market development, venture funding, as well as information on state and federal loans, and grants.

By spurring growth at Binghamton, the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant will enable the University, which is already a leading employer in the region, to have an even stronger impact on the economy. Along with faculty and staff hiring, construction projects and indirect employment opportunities, approximately 1,300 new jobs will be created or sustained in the Southern Tier; and more broadly, 1,600 in New York state.

The overall plan would be funded by a several sources including the Governor’s pledge of $20 million dollars, as well as $15 million in SUNY capital sources. The remaining dollars would be raised through a variety of sources, including corporate support, gifts to the university, additional tuition revenue and University cash reserves. To ensure that all students get the support they need to attend and succeed at Binghamton, the University will commit 25 percent of the additional tuition revenue to provide scholarships for the most economically disadvantaged students and provide revenue for TAP support and scholarships.

Binghamton University’s proposal to the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program is available at


Last Updated: 9/17/13