December 15, 2011

Stanford Unexpectedly Pulls Bid for NYC Tech Campus

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Stanford announced on Friday that it has withdrawn its bid for a tech campus in New York City, leaving only four proposals, including Cornell’s, in the competition first announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last spring.

The decision came as a shock, as Stanford officials had mounted a sweeping public relations campaign in support of its $2.5 billion proposal and given no indication before Friday that it was reconsidering its bid. Along with Cornell, Stanford was widely considered the front-runner in the competition.

In a statement issued Friday, Stanford said its leaders and members of its Board of Trustees had dropped its proposal after determining “it would not be in the best interests of the university to continue to pursue the opportunity.”

Additionally, Stanford officials had grown frustrated by new terms set forth by the city, according to anonymous sources from the university who spoke with The New York Times.

The statement added that, according to Stanford President John Hennessy, the school “could not be certain that it could proceed in a way that ensured the success of the campus.”

“We were looking forward to an innovative partnership with the city of New York, and we are sorry that together we could not find a way to realize our mutual goals,” Hennessy said in the statement.

Cornell, which has also aggressively pursued the tech campus throughout the semester, declined to comment after Stanford’s decision was announced. Bloomberg is expected to announce the winner of the competition in January.

“We’re still kind of processing it,” said Claudia Wheatley, deputy University spokesperson.

Check for updates later tonight.

Original Author: Jeff Stein