February 17, 2000
Update Archives





New York State to Provide $15 Million for Computer Chip R&D Center Extension at CESTM
By Vinny Reda

    Governor George E. Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver were at CESTM on Tuesday to announce $15 million in funding to attract additional hi-tech investments through the construction of a 300-millimeter computer wafer pilot research and development facility. The funding will go to the University's Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) and create a new wing of CESTM.
    The funding will support a $55 million pilot prototyping center that builds upon the semiconductor thin film research being done at the CAT. Thin film technology is used to create computer chips, solar cells, lasers, high-resolution displays and sensors. 
    President Karen R. Hitchcock thanked the political leaders and the high tech industry representatives present for their support in this newest expansion of UAlbany microelectronics research. “Governor Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Bruno and Assembly Speaker Silver have made strategic, long-term investments in our University's partnership with the semiconductor industry that will greatly advance the economic vitality of the State,” said the President.
    “This most recent investment in the research, development and workforce training facility speaks to their vision and commitment to the state's universities and the future of New York,” she added.
    SUNY Chancellor Robert King said, “Thanks to the work done here at the University at Albany, New York State and the Capital District are at the cutting edge of semiconductor research.” 
    Gov. Pataki concurred: “This film technology is critical to many industries today and will become even more important in the coming decades. And, as experience has shown in other areas of the country, where these investments are made in our intellectual capital, the returns in new businesses, jobs and economic growth are dramatic.”
     The facility will be a shared, state of the art chip facility consisting of clean-room space to provide a particle-free environment for the manufacture of silicon wafers. The project includes the 300-millimeter pilot manufacturing, business incubator space, and a workforce training initiative.
     “The expansion of the CESTM facility is a pioneering and unique initiative,” said Senator Bruno. “It is a marriage of academic research and high technology economic development that will be a one-stop shop for industry needs. This facility will be a major attraction for high-tech businesses and jobs throughout the entire country.”
    Assembly Speaker Silver noted his chamber's early support for the CESTM extension. “I am proud the Assembly first proposed New York State invest in this exciting project and am continually  impressed by the dramatic steps the University at Albany is taking to bring it to reality,” said Silver. 
    New York State has provided $10 million through the Empire State Development Corporation to assist with facility construction. Industry will provide funding for the tools and equipment to build the chips, which will cost up to $200 million. The facility will have three purposes:
1. Pilot manufacturing where companies such as IBM, Motorola or Intel would have the facility test and trouble-shoot equipment for use by the companies;

2. Business incubation space for smaller local high-tech companies that do not require daily use of clean-room facilities; and

3. A workforce-training center consisting of a fully electronic 100-seat classroom that will also provide Internet-based instruction across the state, including the community colleges. The program will provide short-course training on advanced semiconductor manufacturing practices, followed by hands-on, on-site training at the CAT.

    UAlbany's CAT has developed partnerships with more than 80 microelectronics companies, including IBM, Motorola, Texas Instruments, Intel, and 25 Capital Region firms. The Governor's Office noted that, since 1994, the State has dedicated more than $65 million toward hi-tech efforts at the University. Governor Pataki has also voiced support for new biotech initiatives at UAlbany's East Campus.

Campaign for the Libraries Tops $3.5M;  Captures Kresge Challenge Grant
By Carol Olechowski

     Thanks to the generosity of more than 3,000 donors and to a $500,000 challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation, the University at Albany has raised $3.8 million in private funds to help equip its libraries as state-of-the-art interchanges on the Information Superhighway.
     “With a final surge of generosity in late 1999, we exceeded our original campaign goal of $3.5 million by more than $300,000,” announced George M. Philip, co-chair of the Campaign for the Libraries, at a recent meeting of The University at Albany Foundation, which leads University fund-raising efforts. “We are deeply grateful for the overwhelming support of so many.”
    Launched in April 1998, the Campaign for the Libraries sought to raise $3 million by the end of 1999 and thereby earn a $500,000 Kresge Foundation challenge grant. At the final stroke of 1999, donors had contributed $3,302,291. The Kresge grant raised the final total to $3,802,291.
    The funding, explained Philip, a 1969 (B.A.) and 1973 (M.A.) UAlbany alumnus, will support “computers, workstations, digital workshops, and other state-of-the-art equipment worthy of one of the most highly regarded academic research libraries in the U.S.” In turn, that equipment will make possible “a number of advances in computing and telecommunications technologies.”
    The library project marked an important private-public partnership for the University. New York State provided $26.6 million to construct and equip the new library. The Campaign for the Libraries then sought $3.5 million in private support to fully update and coordinate the facility with UAlbany's other two libraries - the Main Library on the Uptown Campus and the Thomas E. Dewey Graduate Library on the Downtown Campus.
    Toward this purpose, Philip, CEO of the New York State Teachers Retirement System, and campaign co-chair Hans J. Naumann, chairman and CEO of Simmons Machine Tool Corp., worked with University staff and volunteers to develop a coordinated, campus-wide effort. Other campaign leaders included Dean and Director of Libraries Meredith Butler; 1975 alumnus Jeremy Schrauf, chair of UAlbany's Library Development Committee; and professors Bonnie Spanier and David Brown, co-chairs of the faculty portion of the fund-raising endeavor.
    University President Karen R. Hitchcock praised the efforts of these leaders in bringing the campaign to a successful conclusion. “I also want to thank the thousands of donors who, through their generous response to the Campaign for the Libraries, expressed their faith in the University's commitment to expand its education, research, and service mission by further enhancing its library facilities and its technological capabilities,” she said.
    “UAlbany promises to become one of the most vital stops along the Information Superhighway,” said Hitchcock, “not only for our students and faculty, but for people throughout the Capital Region, the nation, and the world. And that's a very exciting prospect for all of us.”
Philip noted that 2,966 individuals - including his fellow alumni,         UAlbany Foundation members, parents, faculty, and staff - and 95 groups contributed to the campaign. Among the latter were 58 corporations sponsoring matching-gifts programs, 22 other corporations, eight UAlbany alumni classes, four service organizations and three foundations.
    University at Albany Vice President for Advancement Robert R. Ashton said that the library project is another in a series of public-private partnerships that UAlbany has pursued. “When you stop to think that only about 20 percent of the University's operating budget comes from tax dollars - compared with 80 percent a dozen years ago - you can see why private support is so necessary to provide the margin of excellence at UAlbany,” said Ashton.
    The largest single commitments to the Campaign for the Libraries were the $500,000 Kresge grant and the like amount pledged by Barnes & Noble College Bookstores. 
    UAlbany alumni contributed a total of $638,680, with leadership gifts from Dorothy G. Griffin ’34, Hedy Schwartz Bagatelle ’60, Robert (’77) and Dorothy (’78) Matza, Cynthia and Peter Bulger ’77, and Jean Edgcumbe Groff ’38. Two bequests totaled $205,000: $161,000 from the estate of Distinguished Service Professor of English M.E. Grenander, and $44,000 from the estate of Augusta R. Brown ’30. 
    More than $1.3 million came in the form of corporate gifts from firms such as the Coca-Cola Company, Albany International Corp., Trans World Entertainment Corp., Dell Computer Company, and Hannaford Corp.
    Gifts from alumni classes, parents, and service organizations totaled $431,863. This group of supporters included the University at Albany Alumni Association; the classes of ’82, ’48, ’73, and ’78; the University at Albany Benevolent Association; and the UAlbany Parents’ Fund. 
    Friends of the University at Albany Foundation contributed $310,773, with leadership gifts donated by J. Spencer and Patricia J. Standish, the Hans J. Naumann family, Nolan Altman, George R. Hearst III, Susan (’77) and Nolan (’77) Altman, Karen and Timothy Welles ’81, Rex S. Ruthman, Esq. ’64 and Elisabeth A. Ruthman Ph.D. ’74, Harold C. Hanson, Esq. ’63, John J. Nigro, Alan Goldberg, and George McNamee. Faculty and staff contributed $170,940; lead gifts came from emeritus professor of physics Raymond Benenson, UAlbany Libraries Director Meredith Butler, and emeritus professor of mathematics George E. Martin ’54. 
    Apart from the Kresge gift, foundation giving totaled $185,000. These donors included the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Equinox Foundation, and the Swyer Family Foundation.

Kendall Previews N.Y. Primary
By Carol Olechowski
    When the results were tallied for the Republican contenders in the February 1 New Hampshire primary, reporters and politicos alike were stunned when Arizona Senator John McCain snatched victory from the candidate generally expected to win, Governor George W. Bush of Texas. One observer who wasn't taken by surprise was Kathleen E. Kendall of the University at Albany's Department of Communication.
    In fact, Kendall cautioned as long ago as last July 4, in an opinion piece for the Times Union, that “victory for Bush is far from certain.” Wrote the highly respected teacher and political observer:  “The Republicans appear to think that by uniting behind the front-runner early, they can mount a confident and winning campaign. But they are forgetting the primaries.”
    Kendall herself definitely did not forget the primaries. As she has every four years since 1988, Kendall also hit the campaign trail, so to speak. 
    She spent the last nine days of the New Hampshire primary campaign conducting research for an intensive analysis of communication in the Bush campaign. Carrying a press pass from WAMC, a National Public Radio affiliate in the Capital Region, Kendall attended ten Bush events, watched the candidate speak, and interviewed members of the press. She also did three interviews with NPR. 
    In addition to observing Bush herself, Kendall wanted to gauge public reaction to him. “A graduate student distributed questionnaires at three Bush events so that I could see what people thought of his communication before and after the event. I also collected newspapers covering the events, and arranged for the videotaping of network news coverage and of coverage by New Hampshire TV station WMUR. I wanted to provide a thorough analysis of the ‘struggle for interpretive dominance’ among the three main participants in any campaign: the candidate, the media, and the voters,” recalls Kendall. She will share her research findings in a paper for the National Communication Association convention in Seattle next fall. 
    “I was impressed by Bush’s large and efficient organization,” she notes. During her stay, however, she also had the opportunity to observe McCain on several occasions. “He was in New Hampshire 65 days and held 114 town meetings all over the state,” Kendall explains. That particular forum “allowed McCain to reach many people and keep his campaign going despite the fact that he didn't have much money.” 
    The two candidates “were very different in their presentations,” observes Kendall. “McCain comes to an event with everyone knowing he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five years; his book has given him a lot of attention. He is very quiet. McCain speaks for about 20 minutes, then answers questions. He lets the audience ask many questions - that's a risky thing to do, allow the audience to define the agenda - and I think it builds admiration and makes the candidate seem confident. McCain answers questions in a clear, informed way. And he often admits, before responding to a question, that the audience may not like his answer.”
    Bush, on the other hand, “is dynamic in his delivery but more vague in the statements he makes. He talks about taxes, education, and parenthood. In fact, Bush speaks about parenthood a lot - about how it's the most important job anyone can have,” says Kendall.
    “All the candidates like to be seen as fighters,” she adds, “and it seemed to me last year already that McCain was going to have the mantle of ‘fighter’ placed on him by the media. He describes himself as a ‘maverick,’ and he was a navy pilot and a war hero, so, in a literal sense, he is a fighter.” McCain’s repeated attempts to make campaign finance reform a reality have enhanced his feisty reputation. So did his ultimately successful bid to be placed on the ballot in New York's March 7 primary, which Kendall characterizes as “a David vs. Goliath media story.”
    As the campaign in New Hampshire continued, polls showed McCain closing the gap with Bush. “I thought McCain was going to win, but I had no idea he was going to win by so large a margin - 19 points,” Kendall notes. 
    New Hampshire is small; most of its 1.2 million residents live in the southern part of the state, Kendall points out, and it is “not very diverse and not at all urban.” Still, the Granite State is significant in terms of presidential politics: In nearly every primary since 1952, New Hampshire voters “have been prescient” in predicting which candidate would eventually become president. (The one exception was the 1992 contest; the late Paul Tsongas, a Senator from Massachusetts at the time, won that year. Bill Clinton placed second.) 
    The people of New Hampshire take their responsibility as voters seriously, according to Kendall. “They have a reputation; they see themselves as sort of an advance guard for the rest of the country. They enjoy the speeches, the debates, and the handshaking, and they expect the candidates to answer their questions. New Hampshire schoolchildren are even encouraged to study candidates and ask questions.”
    After the February primaries in Delaware, South Carolina, and several other states, the candidates’ next stops will include New York. Kendall is pleased that voters in the Empire State will go to the polls earlier this year for the presidential primary. Previously, New Yorkers cast their primary votes in April, and by that time, many of the contenders had dropped out of the race. “I’m glad New York is going to be part of the decision this time,” Kendall says.
    By mid-February, Gary Bauer and Steve Forbes had already bowed out of the campaign. What does Kendall foresee for March 7?
    “New York could be the graveyard of some of the candidates,” she predicts. “It will be do-or-die here for Bill Bradley. Al Gore is organized and very well known; he can count on the support of the state's Democratic party leaders. But Bradley has the advantage of coming from an adjoining state (New Jersey) and of being a sports star. If McCain wins South Carolina, then the strength of the Bush campaign will diminish, and it will be a hard-fought race in New York. I think McCain will win here. But New York doesn’t allow Independents to vote in primaries, so I’m probably wrong!” Kendall laughs.
    In the meantime, Kendall urges her fellow New Yorkers to prepare for Primary Day: “There’s still time to look at the candidates.” 

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