It’s official: Party at BAM celebrates Polytechnic’s merger with NYU

‘NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering’ becomes NYU’s newest school

January 31, 2014 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Brooklyn officials and civic leaders joined New York University officials at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) on Thursday to celebrate the merger of NYU-Poly (previously known as Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and Polytechnic University) with NYU.

With this merger, which was officially completed on January 1, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, located in MetroTech Center, becomes NYU’s newest school. The merger brings engineering back to NYU for the first time in four decades, since the closing of its University Heights Campus in the Bronx in 1973.

Originally founded in 1854 as the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute, the school has been operating as NYU-Poly for the past five years.

Officiating at Thursday’s ceremony were NYU President John Sexton, NYU Dean of Engineering Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, and NYU Provost David McLaughlin.

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“This merger strengthens NYU by re-establishing our capabilities in applied science, technology, and engineering; creating new interdisciplinary opportunities for learning and research; and enhancing the ability of our faculty and students to pursue cutting-edge technology in their academic endeavors,” President Sexton said in a statement.

He added, “The merger also reinforces NYU’s presence in Brooklyn, where the School of Engineering serves as a foundation for growing programs such as the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), the Media and Games Network (MAGNET), and our incubator sites to create many new exciting possibilities for research and learning across the University.” CUSP will be headquartered in the old MTA headquarters building at 370 Jay St.

“For NYU-Poly, the merger means a connection to a major research university with an extensive basic science research agenda and great strength in the social sciences, humanities, and professions,” Dean Sreenivasan said.

Borough President Adams said that NYU would join ten other universities and colleges in the area, with more than 60,000 students. Roughly 4,890 students attend NYU-Poly; more than 40,000 attend NYU. Poly students will now graduate with a diploma from NYU.

The two schools’ athletic departments are also merging. For the 2013-2014 academic year, NYU-Poly students will continue to compete as a member of the Skyline Athletic Conference, and NYU teams will continue to compete as a member of the University Athletic Association. Following 2013-2014, NYU and NYU-Poly athletic departments will merge into NCAA Division III.

A free shuttle bus service launched this week, connecting NYU’s Washington Square campus in Manhattan with the NYU Poly campus in Downtown Brooklyn.

The merger is expected to contribute to Brooklyn’s growing startup momentum. Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed commented that NYU-Poly “is in the heart of the growing Brooklyn Tech Triangle and further contributes to the area being a magnet for innovation and tech-sector minds and companies.”

According to Senator Martin Golden, chair of the NYS Senate select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship, NYU-Poly “is at the center point of the efforts to revitalize and reinvent the economy of Brooklyn, New York City, and New York State.”

The university says NYU-Poly will have “an increased presence” in Downtown Brooklyn. Part of NYU’s “2030” plan lists Poly’s air rights as an asset to be used for expansion. NYU states in the plan that the university has set a goal of developing approximately one million square feet of new program space at MetroTech.

Immediate goals include strengthening MetroTech’s campus “feel” through improvements to buildings and grounds. NYU also said it hoped to expand the student body and “grow appropriately in the surrounding neighborhood.”

NYU created a formal affiliation with the Polytechnic University in 2008 as the first step toward a formal merger. In October 2012, the Board of Trustees of NYU and NYU-Poly voted to complete the merger.

Thursday’s guest list included U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, State Senators Martin Golden and Velmanette Montgomery; Assembly Members Joan Millman, Peter Abbate, Jr., Joseph Lentol, Maritza Davila, Walter Mosely, Felix Ortiz, Nick Perry; Council Members Stephen Levin, Mathieu Eugene, Inez Barron, Darlene Mealy; Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo Scissura and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed.

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