Batavia, New York —Monday night, Genesee Community College Board of Trustees reviewed the plan that the College will use to assess proposals from companies interested in applying for the Start-Up New York, or State University of New York (SUNY) Tax-free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate NY program. The state-wide initiative was introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo last year to encourage potential developments on or within one mile of each of SUNY’s 64 campuses by offering tax-free status to both the company and new employees for up to ten years. Each SUNY institution can designate up to 200,000 square feet of space for Start-Up New York projects to create new jobs associated with the academic curriculum offered by the connected campus.
For further information about Start-Up NY go to: http://startup-ny.com/
William Emm, GCC’s executive vice president for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness is GCC’s point-person for the new, Albany-based initiative that is aiming to transform SUNY campuses into tax-free communities for new and expanding businesses. Emm shared GCC’s multipage assessment plan that requires each proposed company to identify the designated space including square footage with an AutoCAD site drawing; a description of the type of business being proposed; how the business aligns with GCC’s academic mission and programs; and how the business generates community and economic benefits. Additional assessment questions include:
•How will the company’s product or service further the GCC’s mission?
•How many new net jobs will be created in the first two years of operation and overall?
•How many future employees will require additional training or education provided by GCC?
•How will the company establish itself as a good member of the community?
•Has the local municipality and/or economic development entity been informed of the tax-free space request?
With this information, GCC’s designated Start-Up NY advisory committee, which will include representatives from the College’s four-county service area, will carefully review each proposal and score the applications against a thoughtfully compiled rubric. GCC’s president, Dr. James Sunser will be informed of all incoming applications, remaining abreast of the committee’s efforts and recommendations, while keeping the Board of Trustees apprised of each opportunity. Any applications that meet all criteria will be reviewed by GCC’s Board of Trustees, and with the Trustees approval an amended Campus Plan featuring the new business partnership will be available for review for a minimum of 30 days by GCC’s Faculty Senate, local municipality, local economic development agency, applicable Union representatives and GCC’s Student Government Association. With successful review and approval, the application is then submitted to SUNY for review and approval.
“We have developed protocols and strict criteria at different levels of the College to ensure companies are fully qualified to receive these tax-free benefits,” President Sunser said. “All proposals and people will be considered under a consistent and thorough review to remain above any question of impropriety.”
After a lengthy discussion, the Board approved the next phase of the process which allows College administrators to submit GCC’s Start-Up New York evaluation and review plan to be submitted to SUNY for the next level of review and critique.
In other business Monday evening, the Board of Trustees:
•Heard Dr. Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, GCC dean of Math, Science and Career Education announce that Nanotechnology AAS is the College’s newest academic program to begin the multistep process of review and approval before becoming the College’s newest associate in applied science degree. After being assessed by the Faculty Senate in January, the Board of Trustees will have the opportunity for a full review. With Trustee approval, the new degree program will be sent to SUNY and New York State Education Department for final authorization. The Nanotechnology program is proposed as a partnership between GCC and Erie Community College to combine opportunities offered by each institution. While GCC will offer excellent science-based curriculum in chemistry, biology, physics, and biotechnology, ECC offers extensive coursework and labs for mechanical, electrical and material studies.
Dr. Alicea-Maldonado also reported on the latest college curriculum review that is ensuring compliance with related and required accreditation standards and with the new SUNY seamless transfer initiatives. Digital Arts AAS, Veterinary Technology AAS, Biotechnology, AS and Theatre Arts AA are the next group of programs to have completed the review process which is designed to encourage timely graduation rates.
•Heard Dr. Virginia (Ginny) Taylor, vice president for Student and Enrollment Services report that GCC’s Winterim session, which offers classes between the fall and spring semester grew by 66%, from 82 students in 2012 and 123 students in 2013.
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