State overseers have approved the merger of the SUNY Institute of Technology and the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. . . .While everyone is toasting this as a good thing . . . and it may be . . . where are the questioning voices exposing potential downsides to this?
"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 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."
"Bringing these two institutions together is exactly the type of forward thinking we need here in Upstate New York," said County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. . . .
State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, said, combining the two institutions into one makes sense.
"Both recognize this growing industry needs people in the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region who are educated and trained ‚Äì and they're doing their best to meet that demand," he said. I see this as a wonderful opportunity for our local university to become more attractive to prospective students, without sacrificing other disciplines that are needed in this area as well."
Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi , D-119, Utica, said the consolidation is a boost to economic development .
"By further positioning Utica as a dynamic economic driver for New York, the merger will prime our region to become even more competitive in global markets and further revitalize the local economy," he said.
It is important for the public to remember the original name which revealed the original purpose of that college up on that hill: SUNY Upper Division College -- a place where students from MVCC and HCCC could continue their studies and earn Bachelors and Masters Degrees.
While the expansion to a four year institution was welcome, and the addition of engineering and contemplated PhD programs is looked forward to with anticipation, the original mission must not be forgotten.
Where will governance of this new SUNY-XYZ be located? What will be its focus? If governance is out of Albany, you can be sure that the original mission will become lost. And that must not happen.