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Google Donates to Cornell/Technion School

Will Silicon Valley darling become BDS target?

Marc Tracy
May 21, 2012
Google's New York City office building.(niallkennedy/Flickr)
Google's New York City office building.(niallkennedy/Flickr)

Late last year, Cornell University and the Technion, Israel’s foremost university for science and engineering, together won a bid for $100 million and 2.1 million feet of free space on New York City’s Roosevelt Island (which is in the East River between Manhattan and Queens) to build a new science graduate school. Almost immediately, supporters of a boycott of Israeli academia launched a campaign to try to shake Technion lose from the partnership. One petition declared, “We ask students, staff, and faculty at institutions around the country … to mobilize against the administration of Cornell University to end its partnership with Technion.”

You can probably now add Google alongside Cornell. The search engine giant announced today that the company is donating 22,000 square feet in its New York City headquarters in Chelsea (a truly enormous building that, in fact, used to be what the Port Authority bus terminal is now) to the Cornell school for up to five-and-a-half years, so that classes may begin immediately. Cornell will cover most operating costs (no word on whether students will be able to eat in Google’s famous free cafeteria). This is actually a crucial donation—with an estimated worth of $12 million—because Cornell won the bid in part by pledging to start classes in New York this fall.

And Technion is fully involved in this endeavor, Tablet Magazine learned today. “The Cornell/Technion partnership will be launched in this space,” a spokesperson emailed on behalf of Google Cornell. “In addition to Cornell degrees beginning in 2013, the dual Cornell/Technion degree will begin as soon as it is appropriately accredited. There will be Technion faculty located in the space—this will be the campus for the next five years.”

So maybe they should just start using Bing instead.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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