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Binghamton University welcomes incoming president

president C. Peter Magrath and Harvey Stenger, Jr.On Nov. 28, Binghamton University welcomed to campus Harvey Stenger, Jr., who has been named the University's seventh president. Stenger will assume the presidency beginning Jan. 1, 2012, when current president C. Peter Magrath retires.

Dignitaries at the introductory press conference included State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and H. Carl McCall, chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees. McCall described Stenger as a "scholar, [and] a person who believes in research and the value of the liberal arts and the humanities," while Zimpher praised Stenger for being an "inclusive visionary." Stenger, she said, "will find the balance between the liberal arts and sciences, and the economic opportunities presented by the professional colleges of this campus."

Zimpher also recognized Magrath, who was on hand to "pass the gavel" to his successor. Zimpher thanked Magrath for his service to the University, for the "wealth of knowledge" that he brought to his work and for taking "good care of the institution" during his time as president.

At the press conference, Stenger indicated that he would spend the first months of his presidency developing a new plan for the campus, which would be ready for implementation by next summer.

Outlining his goals for the campus, Stenger said, "We will have the ability to strengthen our financial position thanks to NYSUNY 2020." Looking to the future, he added "We will have strategic development of new degree programs and investment in current programs of high quality and demand; expansion of diversity among student, faculty and staff populations; increased access for students from economically disadvantaged families; enhanced research, scholarship and graduate programs through strategic investments in hires in areas aligned with Binghamton's strengths in its traditional fields while simultaneously identifying those in emerging fields; enhanced reputation for student experiences in student life, advising, counseling, career guidance and post-graduate assistance; significant expansion of our development program to accelerate the growth of annual and endowed funds; and we will continue to ensure that Binghamton University remains a catalyst for action in the region and New York state by driving economic development."

Stenger is currently interim provost at the University at Buffalo (UB) and previously served as dean of UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where he was a professor of chemical engineering. Stenger earned his bachelor's degree from Cornell University and his doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

For more on Stenger, including a video interview and his letter to campus, see: 

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Advocacy News

Southern Tier Regional Economic Council presents plan
On Tuesday, Nov. 29, the Southern Tier Regional Economic Council presented its plan for obtaining a share of $1 billion in state grant assistance for economic development. The plan highlights several initiatives in which Binghamton University will play a key role, including, as its primary strategy, the development of the Southern Tier as a leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Other campus-related initiatives include the development of a transportation alliance that would focus on transportation-related technologies and support local and regional industries with ties to transportation manufacturing. In addition, the plan calls for new collaborations between higher education and healthcare firms, with the goal of increasing the development of healthcare technologies.

The presentation was made by David Skorton, president of Cornell University, and Tom Tranter, president and CEO of Corning Enterprises. Binghamton University president C. Peter Magrath served on the Council and numerous faculty and staff have participated on the Council's sub-committees in drawing up the plan.

Update: Today, Governor Cuomo announced the Southern Tier will see $49.4 million in grants. It was part of $785 million in statewide grant money announced this morning by the state's Regional Economic Councils.

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University News and Accomplishments

Science and Engineering Building opens
Faculty, administrators, community partners and political leaders were on hand Nov. 15 to help open the University's newest building, the Engineering and Science Building at the University's Innovative Technologies Complex. Home to the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, and the Watson dean's office, the 125,000 square-foot building features state-of-the-art, flexible student and research laboratory space, as well as suites for new business start-ups and offices that support the University's ongoing and expanding industry partnerships. During its construction, the building provided $112 million in economic impact and supported over 1,500 jobs in the region.

"The Engineering and Science Building marks another exciting moment in the development of our University's research programs," said Binghamton University President C. Peter Magrath. "As a hub for innovation and discovery in the coming decades, the new facility, with its flexible and adaptive interior design, will encourage interdisciplinary work and help faculty researchers answer significant scientific questions. With cutting-edge sustainability features and space to grow faculty-industry partnerships, the Engineering and Science Building and our first-class programs position us well for even greater public service in the years ahead." 

The $66 million facility, designed in-house by University architect William Hall, is built to LEED (Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design) platinum standards, including passive solar heating, geothermal technology and a "green" rooftop. A two-story photovoltaic wall will provide opportunities for graduate and undergraduate research in solar technology. The design has also taken into consideration the core research model, which will give faculty and students in developing research areas such as microelectronics or network security the ability to share equipment and ideas, foster collaboration and limit duplication of resources. The Engineering News Record recently named the facility the top 'Green Project of the Year in the New York Region' in its annual competition.  

For more on the opening ceremonies, see: 

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Click here for a 360 degree tour of the building.

Bold.Brilliant.Binghamton campaign enters the homestretch
Binghamton University's Bold.Brilliant.Binghamton comprehensive gifts campaign has raised $93,813,401 towards its $95 million goal. The campaign, which will conclude in June 2012, is investing in need- and merit-based assistance for students, faculty research, academic programs and other fundamental needs. University advocates are encouraged to join the more than 12,000 individuals who give to the University each year. 

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To contribute, click here.


A changing environment for research funding
With federal and state support for research declining as a result of budget deficits, Binghamton faculty are looking for other avenues of funding for their work. Industry, venture capital and increased licensing agreements are among the sources of research funding that Binghamton faculty are utilizing, though some researchers fear that the decline in federal support in particular may jeopardize their ability to continue their work. Multi-billion dollar reductions in support for research in areas ranging from health, energy, agriculture and defense may make it difficult for both the University and the nation to compete in a global research marketplace.

For more, see Research at Risk

Binghamton provided faster turnaround on technology transfer licensing.

Binghamton University has introduced a new process to speed up and reduce uncertainty regarding licensing of technologies developed through research partnerships with Binghamton University. The Binghamton Express SquareTerms (BEST) Deal License will reduce the costs industry pays compared to traditional licensing agreements and will encourage more firms to participate in University collaborations.

For more see Express license available to industry partners

BCET introduced as one-of-a-kind electronics systems hub
In an effort to strengthen Greater Binghamton's reputation as the premier hub of microelectronic technologies in New York state, Binghamton University and Endicott Interconnect Technologies have launched a new center that is expected to greatly accelerate the commercialization of new and improved electronics systems.

The center, known as the Binghamton Center for Emerging Technologies (BCET), is a member-based association that joins commercial, academic and government agencies and other organizations to work on small-scale systems integration and packaging projects that will identify, research and develop a broad range of new commercial and military products.

"Greater Binghamton has a long tradition of expertise in the electronics packaging field," said Bahgat Sammakia, interim vice president for research at Binghamton University. "BCET will not only add to the region's strengths in the industry but with our one-of-a-kind focus on small systems packaging, it will really put us on the map. Nothing like this exists anywhere else in the United States."

Launched as a way to meet the Development of Defense's increasing need for fast turnaround in technology development, BCET will act as a conduit for high-tech military contracts. Through the collaboration and joint expertise of its members, BCET will be able to develop innovative ideas faster and more effectively. In addition, BCET will make it much easier to leverage local resources when it comes to attracting funding and contracts to the region. The center is also expected to enhance research and techology-transfer opportunities and strengthen business-to-business relationships, making the region very attractive to outside investment.

BCET membership is open to any organization within the technology area of small-scale systems integration and packaging. Founding members Binghamton University and Endicott Interconnect Technologies, Inc. have already expanded membership by inviting BAE Systems, Inc. and Custom Electronics to join the group. Other organizations and industry leaders in the region are currently being approached to join the group, which will add to BCET's capabilities, resources and areas of expertise. BCET will be funded strictly through membership dues but could charge fees depending on the nature of the contracts and agreements it is able to secure.  

Faculty in the News

Binghamton University mourned the death of two popular Binghamton faculty members this past month: National Book Award-winning poet Ruth Stone and noted medievalist Aldo Bernardo.

Poet: Ruth Stone
Ruth Stone, 96, author of 13 poetry collections who won the National Book Award in poetry at the age of 87, for In the Next Gallery, died Nov. 19, at her home in Vermont. Stone joined Binghamton University in 1988 and taught creative writing here for a decade before retiring in 2008. A prolific writer, she was a fierce defender of the importance of poetry and received numerous awards for her work.

Full story>

Medievalist: Aldo Bernardo
Co-founder of the University's acclaimed Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies (CEMERS) and author of more than a dozen books, distinguished service professor emeritus of Italian and comparative literature Aldo Bernado died Nov. 27. Bernardo, was both a Fulbright Scholar and a Guggenheim Fellow, noted for his insightful writings on Petrarch and Dante. Highly regarded by colleagues and students, he joined Triple Cities College in 1949 and retired from Binghamton University in 1987.

Full story> 

Diane H. Greiwe
Advocacy Communications Specialist
University Communications and Marketing
Binghamton University
PO Box 6000
Binghamton, NY 13902

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Southern Tier Regional Economic Council presents plan


Science and Engineering Building opens

Bold.Brilliant.Binghamton campaign enters the homestretch


A changing environment for research funding

BCET introduced as a one-of-a-kind electronics system hub


Poet: Ruth Stone

Medievalist: Aldo Bernardo