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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Flagship Plans for SBU on Hold

    Former New York Governor Eliot L. Spitzer recognized SBU and University at Buffalo as flagship research institutes of the country. But in the light of his recent resignation, the fate of Spitzer’s plans for the SUNY campuses are unknown.

    In his State of the State address on Jan. 9, Spitzer called for funding for both the SUNY campuses at SBU and U Buffalo, and stated that as two of the 62 members of the Association of American Universities, “[SBU and U Buffalo] are of special importance.”

    Spitzer also called for a merger between SBU research facilities and other prominent New York research institutes. “We will also create a flagship at the other end of our state, as well,” said Spitzer. “We will help bring together the [SBU] and the world renowned Brookhaven and Cold Spring Harbor laboratories.”

    Spitzer was hoping for the merger to elaborate research on cancer, neurobiology, plant genetics and bio-informatics and make New York a leader in world research. He also mentioned that as “cutting edge” research institutes, both SBU and U Buffalo would boost the economic development of Long Island and New York.

    President Shirley Strum Kenny said the merger would bring more opportunities for the campus.

    She commended the former governor for trying to raise SUNY’s standing and compared the school to other private well-funded research universities around the country, such as Berkeley, Ann Arbor, and Austin.

    She also called for New York to follow Spitzer’s footsteps saying that “the economic development — not to mention the medical breakthroughs and energy solutions — generated within university labs and classrooms should be New York’s destiny”.

    “If New York wants to compete with California, Michigan, and Texas, we have to fund research universities,” Kenny said.

    Besides the promise of hiring 2,000 more full time faculty over five years, Spitzer wanted to enter the state lottery system and build a permanent four billion dollar higher education endowment fund. He also asked educators to support him in this quest for higher educational endowment fund.

    Although the new state governor, David Paterson, has not expressed his views on Spitzer’s position on the SUNY system, his future plans for Long Island cut the SUNY budget by 2.5%, about $40 million.

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