BU President discusses school's economic impact on our area

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - BU President Harvey Stenger continues to update local groups on what the university means to the local economy.

Stenger gave a presentation on the school's economic impact Wednesday to Lyceum, a continuing education program for people 50 years-old and up.

The president focused on how public investments in Binghamton, Johnson City, and Endicott are encouraging private investments in the Triple Cities urban core.

Those BU projects include the University Downtown Center and Koffman Southern Tier Incubator in Binghamton, the Pharmacy School and Health Sciences Center in JC, and the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing on the Huron Campus in Endicott.

Stenger, who grew up in Central New York, says that when he returned to the state after a 27 year absence, he was shocked to see the economic and manufacturing decline in Upstate.

"And I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if I had a chance to make a small impact in the Southern Tier on turning that around and recovering some of the economic benefits that we had in the past. That's why I'm passionate about it because I grew up in it when it was a completely different place and now I'm back and hopefully I can return it to part of that place," said Stenger.

Stenger says that because the state ended its SUNY 2020 initiative, the growth in students and faculty on the Vestal campus has ended.

However, it now stands at 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students.

Stenger says with each additional 20 students, another faculty and another staff member on average was added.

He says the school's research activities generate $45 million in grants and contracts from industry and the federal government.

And that over 42,000 visitors come to the campus each year.

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