Buttenschon, Izzo echo support for SUNY Poly Marcy campus


Recently, local elected officials and regional economic development leaders have expressed opinions in the wake of an idea noted in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s January 6 State of the State address — a possible movement of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering from Marcy to Albany.    

Hochul’s plan would, “Revitalize Albany and Binghamton as nation-leading research and teaching universities: University at Albany and Binghamton University will be transformed into nation leading research and teaching universities, with a goal of achieving $500 million each in annual research funding,” according to a statement, continuing, “...Hochul also plans to propose that the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) reunite with the University at Albany to streamline management and promote research excellence…”

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, Marcy, penned a March 23 letter to Hochul, with a proposal of her own, according to a Sunday statement. “Keep CNSE in Marcy. Listen to the Mohawk Valley.”

“The proposal to move the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering from the SUNY Poly Campus in Marcy to the University at Albany concerns me greatly…” Buttenschon wrote in a letter to Hochul. “...I hope that all stakeholders in the SUNY-Poly community get the chance to make their voices heard…”

Buttenschon stated that CNSE’s Marcy location “has a notable academic impact on SUNY Poly and an important economic impact on the wider community.”

This sentiment was underscored at a meeting last week at Mohawk Valley EDGE, where central New York and Mohawk Valley economic development stakeholders discussed the ever-growing “tech corridor” that follows the state Thruway from Central New York to Albany that has largely sprung up in the last decade.

At that meeting, Heather Hage, president and CEO of the Griffiss Institute at Innovare Advancement Center pointed out the Utica to Albany tech connection is what brought the now-under-construction semiconductor manufacturer, Wolfspeed (formerly known as Cree), to set up shop in Marcy.

Regional economic development engines agree that the Marcy-Rome-Utica area has become a home or magnet along the tech corridor. An endeavor that keeps local leaders on the constant lookout for ways to align training and opportunities locally for future generations in the Mohawk Valley/Central New York area.

“I wholeheartedly agree with Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon’s position, and that of our elected officials throughout the county, that the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CSNE) should remain in place at the SUNY Poly campus. This region has made significant investments to establish the Quad C facility, occupied by Danfoss, and soon the opening of the Mohawk Valley Fab,” said Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo, in a Monday statement.

Izzo continued, “Not only has Cree/Wolfspeed made a $1.5B investment in their chip fab but they have also directly invested in the academic mission of the Marcy campus. SUNY Poly has become a world renowned academic institution whose graduates are an important workforce pipeline for science, engineering, math and technology (STEM) related employment throughout our area. SUNY Poly is also an integral research partner with the Air Force Research Laboratory (Rome Lab) providing expertise not only in STEM related fields, but has also become an important component furthering the Lab’s mission in the academic study of quantum computing, cybersecurity, UAS and is fully engaged with the Griffiss Institute’s continuing buildout of the Innovare Advancement Center (IAC). Any effort to move the CSNE from the Marcy campus to the University at Albany campus would irreparably damage decades of investment by local and campus officials to create a world class academic and business environment at the SUNY Poly campus in addition to damaging the region’s ability to continually scale its economic development strategy in the high technology corridor.”

In her Sunday statement, Buttenschon and Izzo’s statements echoed one another and Buttenschon specifically cited the unique partnerships directly attributable to SUNY Poly’s presence in Marcy. 

“SUNY Poly has increased its student population. It has also established itself as an important attraction for participants in the semiconductor industry,” Buttenschon noted, also pointing to Marcy’s relationships with the U.S. Air Force Lab in Rome, the public-private investment with semiconductor developer Wolfspeed and the Quad-C complex at SUNY Polytechnic Institute which is home to semiconductor industry manufacturers.

“Faculty, students and staff as well as business, labor, government and civic organizations from the Mohawk Valley have an interest in this important institution at the Marcy campus and their views need ….consideration…”

At a Feb. 7, 2022 state Higher Education Budget Hearing, Buttenschon questioned Interim Chancellor Deborah Stanley on the plans for SUNY Poly in Marcy and the Chancellor provided assurance that local stakeholders would be heard.

Buttenschon’s recent letter calls on the governor and the state legislature to, “put this discussion to rest.”


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