Make SUNY Poly New York’s 5th SUNY center


On Jan. 5, Gov. Hochul announced a plan to revitalize SUNY which includes a flawed proposal to bury SUNY Poly’s College of Nanoscale back under SUNY Albany. This is the wrong step at a time when New York is witnessing Ohio taking a significant lead in semiconductor manufacturing and long-time leaders, Texas and North Carolina, further growing their technology and semiconductor research, investments, and capabilities.

It is time for New York to make SUNY Poly (to include the network of both its Utica and Albany campuses combined) the state’s 5th SUNY Research Center and to appropriate significant investment in academic and research dollars, especially at the Utica campus, which has not received the same attention as Albany. SUNY Poly in Utica frames a gateway to central and western New York and holds potential for further investment in nanotechnology across the state as it incubates significant recent investments from both Wolfspeed and Danfoss. Burying all of the state’s jewels in Albany is not the answer to the state’s future.

Gov. Hochul recently appropriated $100 million to SUNY Buffalo, in her hometown, for a new engineering academic building and another $100 million for a similar building at SUNY Stony Brook. Meanwhile, she’s neglecting New York’s heart (its center), imposing significant risk at a time where incredible gains have been made here in revitalizing upstate. Likewise, at a time where she is seeking to revitalize the SUNY system, her plan makes no mention of the significant redundancies that currently exist across many SUNY campuses. There is a fair amount of overlap between arts and sciences colleges, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh. And for that matter, Buffalo State, Fredonia, Geneseo, Cortland and Oswego.

SUNY Poly is still nascent yet uniquely holds promise as New York’s premier polytechnic university. Wolfspeed’s CEO previously implied that he chose Marcy as a fab venue because of the great cadre of talent available from institutions like SUNY Poly. Governor Hochul must rethink her SUNY plan.

— Mark Harf, Utica


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