ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Capital Region Lawmakers in a letter to the governor are concerned about the proposal to designate the University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University as “flagship” SUNY institutions. They say UAlbany could be put at a great disadvantage in terms of the kinds of funding and flexibility—and the resulting enrollment and research increases—that would be provided only to flagships institutions.

While the details of this proposed designation may still be under discussion, the outlines of the proposal suggest effectively demoting the University at Albany and Binghamton University to a lower status. Officials said all four university centers are Carnegie R1 research institutions, which signifies the highest level of academic research and doctoral program activity, that serve communities across New York and across the globe.

In addition, officials say that part of the power of SUNY rests within the geographic coverage and differentiation of its four Carnegie R1 research institutions, and such a hierarchy would upset this important balance. Capital Regions Lawmakers are particularly excited about the proposal to return the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) to the University at Albany “to streamline management and promote research excellence. This they said will go a long way toward cementing SUNY’s status as a global research powerhouse.

Officials urge the governor to reconsider the proposal to designate just two of SUNY’s four Research 1 institutions as the system’s flagships. They say the reunification of UAlbany and CNSE makes sense However, to make this wise investment while appearing to assign UAlbany to a second-tier within SUNY threatens to undermine the success of the governor’s broader vision.