FAQs: Albany Collegiate Interfaith Center

Nov. 23, 2016

1. Which property was purchased?

The University at Albany Foundation purchased the property located at 1 University Drive West from the Albany Collegiate Interfaith Center (ACIC), a not-for-profit corporation independent of the University. The roughly 1.4-acre parcel, which is located on the southwestern edge of campus across from the intramural athletic fields, includes the Interfaith Center building (also known as the Chapel House) and is accessible by car only from University Drive.

2. How did the sale come about?

In March 2016, the ACIC approached the University about buying the property. Negotiations commenced between the University at Albany Foundation and ACIC, resulting in a sale that closed on November 22, 2016. Given the Interfaith Center’s location along the campus ring road, the Foundation’s purchase is consistent with the University’s desire to, where feasible, avert development of immediately adjacent land by others in ways that may be inconsistent with the needs of the campus.

3. Will the University at Albany Foundation keep the property?

No. The Foundation and University intend to follow the administrative process required by SUNY to donate the land to the University.

4. Will the Interfaith Center building be demolished?

The University currently has no plans to demolish the Interfaith Center building. The future use of the building will be determined pending an analysis by the University of its space needs. This process is currently underway. In the interim, the Foundation is allowing the University to continue using the building to house its interfaith programs.

5. Is this purchase connected to the Foundation’s purchase of other nearby property in McKownville?

No. While the Interfaith property is adjacent to the land on Nicholas Lane and Waverly Place that the Foundation purchased in December 2015, the acquisitions are unrelated. At the time the Foundation purchased the Nicholas Lane/Waverly Place property, the University and the Foundation were not aware that ACIC was interested in selling its property. The only connection between the acquisitions is the fact that the properties are adjacent.

6. Will clergy members still have a place on the UAlbany campus?

Yes. The Interfaith Center has been an important part of campus life for 50 years. UAlbany values that relationship and is committed to ensuring these services continue to be available to the campus community moving forward.

7. Will the University continue interfaith programming?

Yes. Following the ACIC’s decision to sell its property, the University committed to establishing its own interfaith program as part of the University’s Office of Intercultural Student Engagement and by assigning the former ACIC clergy as official campus volunteers.

8. What are the University’s future plans for interfaith programming?

Moving forward, the University plans to locate interfaith programming in the Campus Center. This location is in the heart of the Uptown Campus and is convenient for students to access. In anticipation of necessary repairs to the former Interfaith Center building, the University will move its interfaith programs into the Campus Center by June 1, 2018. This date was chosen to minimize disruption during the academic year.

9. How is the University communicating with Interfaith Center leaders?

The University remains committed to maintaining open communication with the chaplains, faith groups and student organizations involved with the Interfaith Center.

After meeting with faith groups who had previously funded the ACIC, UAlbany Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Michael N. Christakis followed up with a letter on Oct. 20, 2017 to provide facts about the current transition. View the letter here.

Last modified: October 2017