Oneida County lawmakers ask governor to halt SUNY Poly proposal

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UTICA - Oneida County legislators are calling on the state to abandon Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal to reunify SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s College of Nanoscale Technology and Engineering with the University at Albany as discussed in the State of the State address. 

County lawmakers on Wednesday, Feb. 9, signed a memorializing petition urging the state to abandon the proposal to reunify SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s College of Nanoscale Science and Technology, saying that the campus provides great economic stability through the on-going investments of the semiconductor industry and educational investments of exceptional quality to further workforce development in the Mohawk Valley and Central New York region.

Copies of the petition are being sent to Hochul and state legislators, county officials said. The memorializing petition was signed by all 23 legislators at Wednesday’s board meeting.

“SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is a vital piece of the puzzle in Marcy Nanocenter’s future growth.” said Legislator Richard A. Flisnik, R-8, Marcy, a sponsor of the petition. “Any change is counterproductive to the important local relationships forged with the Air Force, AFRL, Wolfspeed, Griffiss Institute and Innovare.”

The SUNY Polytechnic Institute has established itself as a regional asset that remains critical to the attraction and support of the semiconductor industry and is integral to the development of the Marcy Nanocenter that has attracted $1.5 billion to date in public and private investments with Wolfspeed and Danfoss Silicon Power. Wolfspeed committed $3.5 million in funding to SUNY Poly Foundation scholarships, including an endowed two faculty positions and additional funding for curriculum development and commitment to internships in partnership with Mohawk Valley Community College’s developed Automation PILOT Training Center.“The board’s unanimous endorsement of this petition sends a strong message to Governor Hochul and state leaders to keep the successful SUNY Polytechnic Institute mission as it is,” said Legislator Chad Davis R-14, Kirkland and New Hartford, who is a sponsor of the petition. “The Albany adage ‘Onward and Upward’ should be an inclusive and dynamic message when it comes to economic development — one in which regional, strategic partnerships can truly soar, grow and expand without the restrictions imposed by a more streamlined mission at the University at Albany.”

The decision to split the campuses fundamentally undercuts SUNY Poly’s ability to follow through on commitments made to assist in the development of Innovare Advancement Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the Air Force, Wolfspeed, Rome Labs, the Innovare Advancement Center, and the Griffiss Institute have invested heavily in the growth of SUNY Poly and the economic advancement of the region, the county lawmakers said.

According to the petition, “…to reunify SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering with the University at Albany would be to backtrack on predicated strategic partnerships for workforce and economic development in the Mohawk Valley and Central New York region.”

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