The NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program will initially consist of $35 million in capital funding per school ($20 million administered by Empire State Development Corporation and $15 million from SUNY's construction fund) for the four SUNY University Centers.
The mission of the program is to make SUNY a leading catalyst for job growth throughout the state, strengthen the academic programs of the University Centers and demonstrate that New York is open for business. The funding will be integrated with the Governor's Regional Economic Development Councils and administered by ESDC. The approach will leverage private sector and other source funding to further the goals of job creation and economic development.
"NYSUNY 2020 brings our economic development goals together with the world-class SUNY system in a way that boosts higher learning and creates good paying jobs all over New York," Governor Cuomo said. "We need to put New Yorkers back to work, and this new partnership with SUNY will be a major part of the reinvention of New York."
"Governor Cuomo's vision of reopening New York to business fits perfectly with SUNY's ability to be an economic driver for our state - a ready-made asset for New York's recovery," SUNY Chancellor Zimpher said. "We have pledged to educate the most adept workforce in the nation, discover innovative solutions to some of the most vexing scientific and socio-economic challenges, improve the business climate in our state, and enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers."
To be eligible for the funding, the four campuses will submit detailed, long term economic and academic plans. The plans must leverage private sector resources and meet several criteria, including:
- Ways the school will bring the local community and stakeholders together through the Regional Economic Development Councils to spur local economic development and contribute to regional revitalization
- Strategic partnerships, such as public/private partnerships, to increase academic and economic benefits
- Endorsements from surrounding local governments in support of the plan
- Funding mechanisms, such as capital financing, tuition increases and private sector financing
- Details for expansion, including faculty to be hired, property to be purchased and for what purpose
For example, the University at Buffalo may submit UB 2020 as its plan.
The SUNY plans will be reviewed by the SUNY Chancellor and recommended to the ESDC Board for final approval. Some aspects may require legislative approval. The Regional Economic Development Councils will integrate the plans. The first round of approvals will be made by the end of this year.
SUNY is among the largest public higher education systems in the country, educating more than 468,000 students in more than 7,500 certificate and degree programs on 64 campuses across the state. SUNY's four University Centers in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo and Stony Brook educate 86,000 undergraduate, graduate and graduate professional students in a vast array of disciplines covering the arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering and health professions. In the past three years the SUNY University Centers have generated more than $600 million in research activity annually and includes research produced by its world-renowned faculty.