Gov. Cuomo approves Binghamton University's NYSUNY 2020 plan
Today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the approval of Binghamton University's NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant proposal. With this approval, Binghamton secures state funding to increase student enrollment, hire additional faculty and staff, implement our Smart Energy Initiative, and strengthen industry partnerships.
We are pleased to have this opportunity to work with Gov. Cuomo and the other SUNY research universities to play a major role in revitalizing the economies of our respective communities. I agree with the Gov. Cuomo's statement: "The Binghamton University plan will maximize the economic impact that one of New York's most prominent university centers has on the Empire State." Approval of the challenge grant puts Binghamton University and the Southern Tier region on an exciting path of growth.
Implementation of our plan will result in more than 840 new sustainable jobs and 252 construction jobs for the Southern Tier; greater access to educational and research opportunities for students; the ability to develop new academic programs and strengthen existing ones; the addition of new laboratories and classroom renovation projects; increased value to graduates' degrees as the University's reputation grows; and a $1 billion annual economic impact on New York state by 2017.
Our plan calls for adding 2,000 students over the next five years; that growth has already begun with an increase of 400 students entering Binghamton this fall. To support this growth, we have begun an aggressive, multiyear hiring campaign, beginning with 43 new tenure-track faculty hired for the 2012-13 academic year — for a net gain of 35 faculty. In total, we plan to add 385 net faculty and staff positions over the next five years.
Our facilities are primed to accommodate this growth. New residence halls under construction will add 1,100 student beds in fall 2013, and our new Engineering and Science building opened last fall to accommodate faculty research. Capital funds from the challenge grant will support additional renovations and expanded classroom space, providing opportunities to develop new academic programs and strengthen existing ones.
The centerpiece of our Smart Energy Initiative is construction of a state-of-the-art Smart Energy Research and Development Facility at the Innovative Technologies Complex. The new building will support research, teaching and entrepreneurial activities in energy-related fields such as solar energy and fuel-cell technologies, energy storage methods, and improved efficiencies in computer and other electronic systems. The design phase for the facility is under way and is expected to be complete in 2013. Building construction will begin in 2014, and the facility will open in fall 2017.
Binghamton University's partnerships are a key source of economic strength and vitality in the region, particularly in the technology field of electronics systems design and integration. The support received through the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant will enable an expansion of these partnerships through new research, new academic programs and new outreach efforts.
I am grateful to Gov. Cuomo for his vision and the essential role he has played in securing this opportunity for Binghamton University. NYSUNY 2020 promises to be transformational as it unleashes the potential of Binghamton University and SUNY to create jobs and provide opportunities for success. Current and future generations of Binghamton University students, faculty, staff and residents of the Southern Tier will long benefit from the plans the governor has put in motion.
President, Binghamton University