Prof. Daniel Huttenlocher, dean of computing and information sciences, was named the vice provost and dean of the University’s new tech campus, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced at a press conference Thursday.
As dean, Huttenlocher will be responsible for the academics of the campus. He will also lead faculty recruitment and develop strategic plans for working with investors and entrepreneurs in New York City, according to the University.
At the press conference, Huttenlocher said his first task as dean will be to prepare for the “startup phase” of the tech campus, in which classes will be held at other locations in New York City before construction is completed. Instruction is scheduled to begin in September 2012, groundbreaking is planned for 2015 and on-campus operations are slated to commence in 2017.
“We are already actively working toward identifying [lease] space for the startup phase before we move to Roosevelt Island, gaining approvals for degree programs, involving local tech leaders in our planning and preparing to hire world class faculty,” Huttenlocher said.
Huttenlocher will report to Provost Kent Fuchs and work closely with Lance Collins, dean of the College of Engineering. According to the University, Huttenlocher will continue to serve as dean of CIS until a replacement is chosen.
On Dec. 19, Bloomberg announced that Cornell had won the right to build a new engineering and technology campus in the city, beating out 17 competing institutions.
The University’s proposed campus, to be built on Roosevelt Island, includes more than two million square feet of space and will house almost 2,000 graduate students and about 250 professors. The project is expected to take 30 years to complete and cost nearly $2 billion.
Fuchs praised Huttenlocher in an interview Thursday, citing his success as dean of CIS and his knowledge of the New York City tech industry.
“His knowledge of this new campus through writing the tech campus proposal and leading the process was very important,” Fuchs said. “He has also worked in New York City with startup companies, so he has a vast knowledge of the tech sector and the realms of discipline that the new campus will draw from.”
During the press conference, Bloomberg also announced that Cathy Dove, associate dean of the College of Engineering, will become the vice president of the campus. Prof. Craig Gotsman, deputy senior vice president of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, will serve as the founding director of the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute.
As vice president, Dove will oversee human resources, external and student relations, finances, community outreach and programming for the campus, according to the University.
The Cornell Board of Trustees Executive Committee approved the appointments of Huttenlocher and Dove on Wednesday, and they will begin in their new posts immediately, according to the University.
“Dan Huttenlocher and Cathy Dove have employed their extensive knowledge and expertise during every step of the development and promotion of our proposal,” President David Skorton said during the press conference. “They continue to drive our effort to bring the new campus to fruition for the people of New York.”
Skorton added that the appointment of Gotsman as director of the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute will bring “added luster to this impressive team.”
After receiving accreditation from New York State, the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute will confer dual Cornell-Technion master’s degrees in applied sciences, according to a press release from Bloomberg’s office.
Bloomberg announced the appointments Thursday morning at the headquarters of Tumblr, one of the city’s fastest growing technology companies, the press release said. Representatives from social media powerhouses –– including Facebook, Twitter, Bitly and YouTube –– were also in attendance.
“New York City is quickly becoming the center of the digital universe, and today’s announcements will help us get there,” Bloomberg said. “With this fantastic leadership team in place, the tech campus will help us attract and develop more talent to energize our growing tech sector.”
Huttenlocher said in an email he thought the headquarters of Tumblr “was a great location” for announcing the tech campus’ new leadership.
“These [tech] companies exemplify the kind of technology research that will be taking place on the new campus, which brings technologists together with expertise in other domains, such as media or the study of human behavior,” Huttenlocher said.
Fuchs and Huttenlocher also noted the importance of the representatives’ presence at the press conference.
“It signifies that this new campus’ focus is on startup companies,” Fuchs said. “It was very significant to have the support of many of those startup companies and the individuals leading them.”