Spring Town Hall Signifies New Beginnings at NYU-Poly

A buzz took over MetroTech Center, or Innovation Square as it’s been dubbed, before last week’s Town Hall meeting. Jerry Hultin, president of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) was the reason for the flurry: shortly before the students, faculty and staff gathered for the biannual meeting, the Institute’s much-loved president announced that he would be stepping down in the summer of 2013. 

“Each one of you has helped make the transformation of Polytechnic the mark of my presidency.” President Hultin said, as he opened the Town Hall. “So, let me thank each of you personally for stepping up and saying, ‘I’ll be innovative and help change Poly.’ You can see what we have accomplished and I encourage you to keep going.”

President Hultin’s successor will find him or herself in a unique position. Not only will the new president retain the responsibilities of being President of the Institute, but he or she will also serve as the Dean of Engineering across NYU, making even clearer that NYU-Poly is the center of engineering for all of NYU’s global network university. 

As President Hultin noted, this is a great assignment for the Institute because it will mean that NYU-Poly will lead the direction of engineering education across the university, from Shanghai to Abu Dhabi, Washington Square, the Medical Center, MetroTech Center and beyond. 

“This is a mandate for all of us at NYU-Poly to be the leaders,” said President Hultin. 

The further integration of NYU and NYU-Poly was an important topic during the entirety of the meeting, as was the continued importance of i2e, which stands for Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. President Hultin also updated the audience about the anticipated Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), which will revamp the now-vacant MTA building at 370 Jay St., near the heart of NYU-Poly’s campus in Downtown Brooklyn.  

Home Grown Tech 

Following President Hultin’s remarks, Dennis Dintino, Vice President of Finance and Business Affairs, took to the stage to report on topics specific to NYU-Poly’s campus. Particularly, Dintino had a big announcement following the Institute’s honorable mention in game design studies from the Princeton Review

“The game innovation lab was the first key step to bringing all of NYU gaming into MetroTech Center,” Dintino said. “I’m happy to report today that the plans are underway to join the gaming and digital media functions of Tisch, Steinhardt, and Courant along with NYU-Poly at MetroTech.” 

NYU is considering a multi-million dollar investment for the digital media center with more details to be announcement shortly. The CITE Game Innovation Lab, unveiled in spring of 2011, was built through a two million dollar state grant that President Hultin helped to raise. 

“The [CITE Game Innovation Lab] was the lynchpin to our strategy to not just link with everything NYU has across the river, but to bring NYU to Brooklyn, as well,” continued Dintino.

Another exciting addition to the ever-evolving relationship between NYU-Poly and the schools of NYU include the WICAT Research Center at 2 MetroTech and the Institute of Engineering Interfaces Lab.

“The Institute of Engineering Interfaces Lab will be used jointly by NYU-Poly and NYU faculty from all different disciplines,” Bethany Jankunis, assistant vice president of administrative planning and initiatives, told the crowd. A three million dollar National Science Foundation grant matched with two million dollars of NYU-Poly’s own funding will go towards creating a space where equipment can be shared interdepartmentally, and between faculty and students.

It’s this spirit of sharing ideas from a range of disciplines and sources that tied together last week’s news of past accomplishments and new endeavors. Summing it up, President Hultin said at the end of his address, “i2e’s impact on Brooklyn, NYU and the global network is powerful and tangible. You’re the ones who made it happen.  Thank you!”