Just last week I was all set to write about the very probable construction of a Stanford campus in the Big Apple. Stanford has been the long time frontrunner and the anticipated winner for this 2 billion dollar technical campus in New York City followed closely by Cornell University. Good thing that procrastination and finals week kept me busy enough to prevent me from posting about what is now a possibility that has faded into the oblivion, because it allows me to shed light on the recent development, or should I say back draw. It is true that slow and steady wins the race but sometimes it gets difficult to understand why the rabbit extremely close to finish line, not preoccupied with the illusions of overconfidence, failed to win.
The striking part about this issue was the fact that Cornell announced a $350 million gift shortly after Stanford decided to drop out of the race. This leads to the speculation that part of the reason for this sudden change of plans may be due to financial reasons. But was it so? I am skeptical about this reason since Stanford was poised to start a large-scale fundraising campaign, one of its kind, to meet the financial requirements of this project. Would the amount of the Cornell gift be a sufficient cause of concern?
Another reason for backing out of this contest was the attempted renegotiation of the terms of the project by the City’s authorities. This prompts one to think whether these attempts were made deliberately to force Stanford to withdraw out of frustration. With the huge gift, Cornell would potentially need lesser money from the city itself for the completion of the project while the Stanford proposal may have asked for more. Thus, in an effort to save this additional expense, the City might have pushed for new terms.
Whatever the reasons, this withdrawal ensures that the spirit engendered by Stanford in Silicon Valley will stay only in California, at least for the time being. Furthermore, it is yet to be observed whether Silicon Valley can in fact be duplicated in a State much different from California.