Stony Brook University and Long Island University Announce Final Agreement for SUNY to Purchase Southampton Campus
Stony Brook to Ready Campus for Fall ’06; Long Island University to Maintain
Graduate Programs and Public Radio Network, WLIU 88.3 FM
Paola Curcio-Kleinman,Associate Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations
Long Island University
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. - State University of New York Chancellor John R. Ryan and Long Island University Board Chairman Edward Travaglianti announced today that their respective boards had reached an agreement allowing SUNY to purchase Long Island University’s Southampton Campus for $35 million. They were joined in their announcement, by Stony Brook President Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny, and Long Island University President Dr. David J. Steinberg. Stony Brook will operate the campus.
"Stony Brook Southampton will provide students and faculty with world-class scholarship and research opportunities in marine sciences, the environment, health sciences and the arts,” said SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan. “Stony Brook Southampton summer academic and cultural programs will attract leading artists and scholars and greatly enrich the State University and the community. I want to thank Governor Pataki and the State Legislature for providing the resources and support necessary to acquire the property. Senator Ken LaValle in particular deserves great praise for his leadership and vision in making today’s agreement possible. President Shirley Kenny, President David Steinberg and their staffs are to be commended for working diligently and swiftly to produce an excellent result for all parties.”
Dr. Steinberg commented, “Even as we go through the legal rituals today of a purchase and sale agreement, Long Island University bequeaths something far more valuable than bricks and mortar to Stony Brook University - ‘a tradition of teaching excellence.’ Since this campus first opened in 1961, the men and women of the Southampton Campus of Long Island University have always committed themselves to superb teaching and to creating a very special learning community. The success of that effort is measured not only in the 37 Fulbrights won by our students, but by the thousands of lives touched for the better. As our era ends here, I want to reiterate that Long Island University has done exactly what it said it would do nearly two years ago when the painful decision to end undergraduate education here had to be taken. Our outstanding marine science programs were seamlessly transferred to Stony Brook, where they are continuing to flourish. Our faculty has been welcomed at Brooklyn and at C.W. Post where they have been treated as welcome colleagues rather than refugees. Southampton students, who so chose, have either transferred or transitioned to C.W. Post. And now, the physical assets of this campus are to be moved to the State University, thus fulfilling our pledge to preserve undergraduate education in the Hamptons.”
Long Island University Board Chairman Edward Travaglianti added, “From the beginning, the challenge for the Long Island University Board of Trustees was to meet the needs of all our students -- not only those studying at Southampton, but also those at our Brooklyn and C.W. Post Campuses -- while being sensitive to the needs of the community. I am delighted that we have accomplished both goals. The transfer of this campus to the State University of New York will ensure that residents of Long Island’s East End will continue to have access to the highest quality education at Stony Brook.
The press conference-signing ceremony was attended by New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and Southampton Town Supervisor Patrick A. Heaney, in addition to numerous administrators from each university.
Stony Brook plans to begin holding classes at the 82-acre site this September. Approximately 200 students will attend during the first semester, with an enrollment of 2,000 students anticipated within five years. Dr. Kenny said the campus will offer primarily undergraduate, upper-division courses that will be shaped in an interdisciplinary fashion addressing issues regarding the environment and ecological sustainability. For instance, students will not only study environmental topics, but also will focus on political, economic and social issues related to the environment. Stony Brook already operates at the site, an undergraduate marine science program that was transferred from Southampton College last year.
“The environment and sustainability are the critical issues for the 21st century,” Dr. Kenny said. “It will be an extraordinary opportunity for students to help shape our response to the global challenges we face, and it would not have been possible without the support of Chancellor Ryan and the efforts of Senator LaValle. Their encouragement and critical assistance means that the site at Southampton will be retained for educational purposes, benefiting the economy of the East End, the people of Long Island and most of all, the students throughout the region.”
Senator LaValle, who secured the $35 million from the State Legislature to make the purchase possible, said “As chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, I am pleased and excited that the shared vision of two great universities has resulted in the expansion of one of the highest ranking public education institutions in the nation. Stony Brook University’s presence on the East End will enhance program offerings and provide all students with affordable and respected educational opportunities.”
As part of the agreement, Long Island University will maintain a presence on the Campus that guarantees classroom and office space for a period of at least three years. Long Island University currently offers at Southampton graduate programs in teacher education, an advanced online certificate program in homeland security management, and continuing education courses. In addition, the agreement allows WLIU (88.3 FM), the flagship station of the Long Island University Public Radio Network, to remain in its studio space for at least three years, and provides broadcast space on the cell tower located on campus for up to 18 years.
The terms of the agreement, which are still subject to the review of the State Attorney General and the State Office of the Comptroller, include a closing date on or before August 31. The sale includes the purchase of 42 buildings on approximately 82 acres of land at the eastern end of Long Island. The academic and other major facilities consist of art studio buildings, resident halls, and classroom and library buildings.
The SUNY board authorized the purchase of the property, pending an agreement, on September, 2005 as negotiations began in earnest between Stony Brook and Long Island University. Previously, in February, 2005, the acclaimed marine science undergraduate program at Southampton College was transferred to Stony Brook’s Marine Sciences Research Center, which already offered a nationally-renowned graduate program. The three-year agreement that allowed Stony Brook to lease the marine sciences facilities at the Campus will be subsumed into the purchase, once title transfers to Stony Brook.
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