When the massive news broke out last week, everyone was surprised that the tech campus winner wasn’t solo. In fact, Cornell is going to ‘share’ its new branch on Roosevelt Island with a venerable Israeli institution renowned for its world-class engineers.
So how did that happen?
Turns out both parties had already been in talks for quite a while. The real coup, however, was Cornell’s timing. The Technion connection wasn’t revealed until the last minute in a deft exercise in expert publicity.
But the presence of a foreign partner-campus in NY is not really a big deal. As early as, well, early this year, when Stanford was still the choice contender, it was revealed that bids from South Korea and Israel were also on the table.
As part of Cornell’s PR campaign, the sprawling and eco-conscious architectural marvel that is going to rise in Roosevelt Island has been teased virally. It has got open spaces, trees, and nice deconstructed buildings with lots of sunshine. Reactions have been colorful, to say the least.