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PrezBo’s Proposal to Bloomberg: “Oh Look We’re Doing That Anyway”

May gain a friend soon

May gain a friend soon

Bloomberg’s recent proposal that aims to lure top engineering universities around the world to New York with a pledge of $100 million to be put towards a new campus (either on Governor’s Island, Roosevelt Island, or the Brooklyn Navy Yard) has universities across the country scrambling to send in their applications.  Big names that have expressed interest include Stanford, Cornell, and NYU, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that today, PrezBo has officially thrown Columbia’s hat into the ring. That being said, with the proposals due tomorrow, our administrators certainly didn’t leave much margin for error.

Some major points touched on within the proposal (PDF):

  • Columbia will build or renovate another 3 buildings on the Manhattanville Campus, adding 1.1 million additional square feet, which will make up the new “Institute of Data Sciences and Engineering.”
  • The Institute will consist of five specialized interdisciplinary research centers: U.S. and New Media Center, Smart Cities Center, Health Analytics Center, Cybersecurity Center, and Financial Analytics Center.
  • Since Columbia already has the necessary building permits, the project is “more than shovel ready”—a boon for Columbia, given Bloomberg’s goal of having the campus open by 2015.
  • Phase I of construction: By 2020, Columbia will have completed the construction of a 443,000 sq ft facility, housing 40 new faculty and 600 grad students. By 2022, there will be a total of 72 new faculty and 1,080 new grad students.
  • Phase II will be completed by 2032, and involves renovating a 220,000 sq ft building to house 20 more faculty and 300 grad students, and building a 520,000 sq ft building for another 75 faculty and 1,125 grad students.

Noticeably, the Columbia proposal contrasts from the others in that it only adds to the current Manhattanville expansion plans, rather than utilizing any of the sites Bloomberg has proposed. The administration seems to be hoping Bloomberg will be pleased at not having to donate city land to the expansion, but we’ll have to wait and see. And given Bloomberg’s recent statements on the institute, he may end up spreading the love to multiple universities anyways.

Engineer via Wikimedia Commons

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  • Proposal says:

    @Proposal Bwog, the proposal link is dead. Try again? I’m actually super curious to see it.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I think Columbia should try to build world class computer science, electrical engineering and mathematics programs.

    Look at what Cornell is doing and what Stanford has already done. These programs are the “core” of an excellent engineering program.

  • evb says:

    @evb If this is our proposal, I hope we lose. Clearly the work on non-scientists and/or financial engineers.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Columbia’s looks amazing! Columbia is the only one with concrete plans. The other schools are just random proposals and vague sketches that will never be built.

  • Wow says:

    @Wow Can’t help but think of Dr. Evil–every good plot has to have phases.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Is anyone else disturbed by all of this?

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Feniosky Peña-Mora’s idea was hijacked?

  • ... says:

    @... to be honest, i really think it’s kinda ho-hum, and that’s not just my columbia frustration seething out…

    columbia engineering has recently been far too ieor focused. 3/5 of columbia’s proposed groups are pretty much just more of that. i suspect that the bloomberg admin is looking for an institution that will wow people like stanford does with it’s functioning autonomous vehicles. columbia didn’t even have an entry in any of the darpa grand challenges, and a new hedge fund programmer training center in manhattanville won’t change that…

    darpa grand challenge is just a game? smart people like games.

  • davey says:

    @davey Columbia’s proposal is perfectly fine and would benefit the city but Columbia is already committed to building a new campus in Manhattanville. Why would the city choose that proposal, or NYU’s for that matter, if Stanford or Cornell are willing to bring a whole new campus to town? That is, Columbia is going to build a $7B campus whether the city gives them $100 million or not. Stanford or Cornell are going to spend exactly $0 if they don’t get $100 million from the city and a few billion if it does. If you’re the city the decision of Columbia vs. Stanford or Cornell is a no brainer.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous yeah. this whole thing is a 100 million dollar publicity stunt, and its going to go to stanford, regardless of how horrible or wonderful their plan is compared to columbia’s. he doesn’t care about how long it’ll take to build, he just wants more university presence and the fact that the proposal comes off as a tangential upgrade to manhattanville is probably going to hurt, not help. he even said he wanted to wrestle back the start-ups from silicon valley/palo alto… and which university is located in palo alto…

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous If Bloomberg is that ambitious, he should get Stanford to move to New York city.

    His plan has been almost a failure because he got a number of unknown third class universities attending to his call for proposal, whereas many good schools did not care about his love call.

    Columbia should not have even cared about what he said.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous You are correct. You do not see Harvard or Yale, or MIT, running to build anything in New York. Why on earth would they want to spend a dime outside their main campuses. Stanford wants an east coast presence for capital for its start ups that will always be in California. Stanford’s campus will actually be a money and brain drain to Palo Alto.

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