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President and Provost Share an Exciting Opportunity

August 18, 2021

We are writing to share an exciting development with you and to seek your input. We recently learned of what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, right in our own backyard, to extend the global reach, impact and reputation of the University, drawing on many of our existing strengths.

New York City and the Trust for Governors Island are hoping to repeat the success of the 2011 Roosevelt Island Applied Science initiative (which became Cornell Tech) with a climate science-related development project on Governors Island.

They are holding a global competition to select a university to anchor the project, helping to make New York an international hub for convening climate science research and solutions. NYC and the Trust want this hub to support equitable climate solutions through research and commercialization. The participants will need to develop the island as a living laboratory and use innovative design for buildings. Community engagement, workforce development, and global and local partnerships will be central to this hub.

We are struck by how well this opportunity aligns with our current mission and complements so much of the research and education already happening at Stony Brook. We are confident that Stony Brook University is well suited to enter this competition and that this initiative would help position us as a global convener for addressing one of the world's greatest challenges -- climate change.

The Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) was released at the end of June. It has a September 29th deadline for first round proposal submission. Upon learning of this opportunity, we rapidly assembled a faculty and staff team to flesh out the possibilities for Stony Brook and sought help from some of the experts who were involved in guiding Cornell’s winning bid in the Roosevelt Island competition. The success of this initiative, however, depends on the best ideas our broader campus community can bring to the table.

We are reaching out to you to solicit ideas that can strengthen this proposal. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas, which will be compiled and shared with the team.

This is a serendipitous moment and we invite you to join us in imagining how we take full advantage of this opportunity.

Maurie McInnis

Paul Goldbart
Executive Vice President and Provost