Stanford University withdrew its bid for NYs applied sciences and engineering campus because the city continually changed the terms of the offer, according to The Stanford Daily, rebutting media reports that the university was unprepared for the city’s tough negotiating tactics.
The University unexpectedly withdrew its bid on Dec. 16, although it was considered the frontrunner. In a press release, the school had said, “it would not be in the best interests of the University to continue to pursue the opportunity,” without providing any details or explanation.
The New York Times reported that Stanford had no experience building in New York and “recoiled” at the idea of meeting the city’s terms after its proposal was submitted. Cornell University, on the other hand, expected the negotiations. The Times quoted a city official as saying, “Stanford could not or would not keep up.
Last week John Hennessy, Stanford’s president, said that the city’s requirements would increase both risk and cost, decrease long-term benefits and ultimately compromise the university campus and Lisa Lapin, a Stanford spokesperson, told The Daily that nothing about the RFP was firm. “The city was making changes to all of the terms of the project.” The city required Stanford to go ahead with the project even if the city revoked the $100 million it promised to the competition winner.
The city reportedly also changed the amount of land they promised. Originally Stanford thought they would receive land that extending from one side of Roosevelt Island to the other. But the city reduced the amount, requiring the university to purchase additional land if they wanted to build their original campus design.
There were also environmental concerns. Provost John Etchemendy told The Daily, “They wanted us to indemnify them for anything they had done, anything that had happened. So for example, if somebody sued about exposure to chemicals 20 years ago, we would have been liable; and that’s an example.” The push to ramp up the school quickly was another reason Stanford rescinded their bid. “We would not compromise our faculty hiring standards,” Hennessy told The Daily.
“If we could not succeed in achieving everything that NY wanted, then we would have had a campus 3,000 miles away that would end up being an albatross around our neck,” Etchemendy said.