The new state budget will benefit renovation of the Schuyler Building as the new home of CEAS, shown at left behind Dean Kim Boyer, Congressman Paul Tonko and Interim President Stellar; enactment of the tuition-free Excelsior Scholarship, and a boost for NYSUNY 2020 projects such as the Center of Excellence in Atmospheric and Environmental Prediction and Innovation, whose design is at right.
ALBANY, N.Y. (April 19, 2017) — The passage of the New York State Budget on April 10 promises to engineer good news to the campus in several areas.
“I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard on behalf of our legislative priorities,” said Interim President James Stellar in a letter to the campus on Monday. The president and UAlbany’s government relations team made numerous visits this year to the state Capitol and the area’s legislative delegation to advocate for the University’s legislative priorities.
The result included funding within the budget’s $550 million capital investment allocation for the University’s top priority, renovating the Schuyler Building in Albany’s midtown — the future home of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS).
The new funding, said Stellar, “will empower us to move forward with the first phase of the Schuyler renovations.” He noted the project will also aid the greater community, by injecting “new energy into the neighborhoods around our Downtown Campus and catalyze new private investment.”
CEAS Dean Kim L. Boyer said, “All of us in the College are very grateful for the continuing support of our advocates in the Legislature and the tireless efforts of our friends in the Office of Government and Community Relations.
“Capital funding sufficient for UAlbany to make the first installment toward the cost of creating a world-class facility for the College underscores the importance of our mission, and the Legislature’s confidence in us,” he added. “It is as humbling as it is gratifying. We look forward to seeing the scaffolding go up and the work getting underway.”
Other positives to come out of the budget’s enactment were:
A predictable tuition plan that provides SUNY with the flexibility to ensure UAlbany has the resources to continue its academic expansion by way of new degree programs and faculty. “Predictable tuition also helps students and their families plan financially for the future,” wrote Stellar.
Passage of the Excelsior Scholarship, which will enhance pathways for students to complete their college educations, and continued funding for the Educational Opportunity Program.
$55 million for NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grants, for which a UAlbany proposal on CEAS is being developed, the president noted. He noted that the University’s “signature” NYSUNY 2020 project, the Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship Complex, will soon break ground.
$250,000 for UAlbany’s NYSTAR Center of Excellence in Atmospheric and Environmental Prediction and Innovation in order to continue bringing together businesses and researchers.
An opportunity for UAlbany to further leverage its deep portfolio in life sciences research and development, through the budget’s commitment of more than $600 million for health and life sciences.
The biggest takeaway, however, involved continued forward momentum for CEAS.
“Of course we look forward to the day we will occupy the building,” said Boyer, “but in the meantime there’s building of another sort to do as we continue to recruit world-class faculty, launch new programs and initiatives, and prepare to welcome what looks to be a much larger than projected incoming class of engineering students this fall.
“It is an incredibly exciting time to be a Great Dane . . . Engineer.”