[UPDATE] University finalizes merger with Poly

January 27, 2014

Lauren Kim/WSN

UPDATE Thursday, Jan. 30 7:13 p.m.:

A shuttle route now exists between Poly’s Brooklyn campus and Washington Square. The service, which started Jan. 27, is free and runs Mondays through Thursdays. The first van departs from 6 MetroTech Center at 10:15 a.m., and the first trip from Manhattan to Poly starts at 11:15 a.m.

“We hope the shuttle will encourage members of the NYU community to take advantage of the opportunities both at Washington Square and in Downtown Brooklyn, including the School of Engineering, the Center for Urban Science and Progress and the Media and Games Network,” said Fred Barlow, assistant director of public safety and transportation, in a press release.

Original story as follows: 

After five years in the making, the Polytechnic Institute of NYU has officially completed a merger with NYU as of Jan. 1. The school will now be called the Polytechnic School of Engineering.

In 2008, the two schools formally agreed on a five-year plan to join the schools. In October 2012, the Board of Trustees of each institution voted to take the final steps in the merger.

Iraj Kalkhoran, the associate dean of Undergraduate Academics at NYU-Poly, said students will have the ability to conduct cross-school coursework.

“For students who discover a passion for engineering and technology, numerous cross-school minor opportunities are currently available,” Kalkhoran said.

One of the ways that students will be able to pursue their interests is through the 3+2 Program, which is a five-year program for students seeking a dual degree.

“The 3+2 Program provides CAS students the opportunity to pursue a double major in science and engineering disciplines,” explained Kathleen Hamilton, director of communications at the school. “These students are active in the School of Engineering’s summer research program, student clubs and even serve as teaching assistants for freshman courses.”

Kalkhoran said qualified students will also have the opportunity to study abroad through the engineering school’s exchange programs and partnerships, in addition to NYU’s Office of Global Programs.

Students held favorable views on the merger as well.

“I’m very excited about the merger,” Poly sophomore Earl Co said. “I’ve always treated Washington Square as a second campus, but the overall feel between the two campuses makes it like going to two different colleges at once.”

Engineering students have had access to many facilities and services at the Washington Square campus since the original affiliation, including the Wasserman Center for Career Development. Other services followed later, such as access to NYU’s athletic facilities in 2011.

As of August 2013, all engineering students gained access to Google Apps for Education and academic email addresses at the nyu.edu domain.

But some students are disappointed with the lack of free transportation between the two campuses. In August 2013, Poly student Jeffrey Nichtberger created a petition urging the university to establish free transportation between the campuses.

On Oct. 3, then-NYU-Poly President Katepalli Sreenivasan, now the dean of the engineering school, sent an email to the school’s student body regarding the issue of transportation.

“We have been examining the possibility of operating a shuttle service between Downtown Brooklyn and Washington Square,” Sreenivasan said. “Details are still being worked out, but our intent is to launch a pilot program during the spring semester. More details will be forthcoming as they become available.”

Poly sophomore Tonianna Lynch said the merger could offer exciting opportunities.

“Now that the merger is fully completed it may encourage more students to actively participate in more of the social aspects NYU has to offer,” Lynch said. “Poly is a great school filled with many interesting people, but a lot of the majors are very similar; it will be nice [to] meet people studying very different things.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Jan. 27 print edition. Graham Rapier is a contributing writer. Email him at news@nyunews.com.

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