Stanford submits expression of interest for New York City campus

Stanford University this week formally submitted a tentative proposal to the city of New York to build a campus for applied science research and graduate education.

Stanford University this week formally submitted a tentative proposal to the city of New York to build a campus for applied science research and graduate education on Roosevelt Island, with the intent that the campus would serve as a hub for innovation and economic growth.

The Stanford proposal, submitted in response to a New York City request for expressions of interest, outlines a high-technology campus that could be constructed in phases over 25 years to provide graduate degree-granting programs for students in engineering, computer science and business.

"Whether there will be another hub of innovation in the world is not in doubt. The only question is where it will evolve," the Stanford document states. "Silicon Valley is unique, and replicating its success will be a challenge. But we believe it can be done. Stanford University has the expertise and the track record, and New York City is the place to apply them."

Under an aggressive timeline, the university proposes starting construction on the first phase in 2013 and enrolling 440 master's and PhD students by the fall of 2015.  Over time, Stanford envisions the possibility of as many 2,200 graduate students and 100 faculty members at a New York City location.

"Stanford seeks to leverage its entrepreneurial culture, its experience in attracting great minds and its partnerships with industry to build an applied research and high technology center in New York City – a city whose ambitions for the future are aligned with those of the university," the proposal states. "Stanford envisions a strategic partnership that will blend the strengths of a great research university with those of a great center of commerce and creativity – and generate significant and sustainable economic development."

Stanford was joined by 26 other institutions in submitting expressions of interest Wednesday to the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Others who submitted proposals include Cornell, Columbia, Purdue and the University of Chicago. The city is expected to issue a formal request for proposals by this summer.

"We were enormously optimistic that this once-in-a-generation opportunity would draw the interest of top caliber universities from New York City, the region and the world, and the number and breadth of responses is as strong an endorsement of the idea as we could have hoped for," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "The institutions that responded recognize the historic opportunity this initiative represents – to grow a presence in the world's most dynamic, creative and globally connected city. For New York City, it's an opportunity to increase dramatically our potential for economic growth – a game-changer for our economy. The day when a new campus opens its doors is still far down the road, but the quality of the initial responses is an incredibly promising sign that it can and will become a reality."

Stanford President John Hennessy will discuss Stanford's proposal at his annual address to the Academic Council on April 14. He will be joined in conversation by Jim Plummer, dean of the School of Engineering; Jennifer Widom, chair of the Department of Computer Science; and Robert Reidy, vice president for land, buildings and real estate. The address will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the NVIDIA Auditorium of the Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center.

The proposed Stanford New York campus would draw from various schools, centers and programs, including the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. The proposal also relies upon very close integration with the California campus, and the use of distance education and telepresence systems to connect students, faculty and researchers at the two locations.

Of four possible locations put forth by the city of New York, Stanford has used the Roosevelt Island site as a model for its proposal. The land is located in the middle of the East River between Manhattan and Queens. Facilities to be constructed on the site would include academic and research space, as well as housing for students and faculty members. Funds for capital costs would be expected to come from a combination of philanthropy, New York City and Stanford University.

Lisa Lapin, Stanford University Communications: (650) 725-8396,