Letter to the Editor: Dan Freedman

In response to the Letter to the Editor submitted by Alice Rojas, published in Issue 3.

As Dean of the School of Science and Engineering and Director of the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center (HVAMC), I would like to offer clarification regarding the funding for the new Engineering Innovation Hub mentioned in a letter published by The New Paltz Oracle. 

The building was made possible by a $10 million NYSUNY2020 grant, awarded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014 as part of an expansive, statewide effort to support academic programs that translate directly into economic development in New York State. That same year, the College was awarded $850,000 in capital funding, secured by Sen. John Bonacic (Mt. Hope – R/C/I), to fund the renovation of Smiley Arts Building 100. Previously this was the home of the HVAMC and is now the residence for the Art Department’s Digifab Lab. The remaining construction costs were funded by the campus.

Over the past seven years, the HVAMC has received a $500,000 award from the Dyson Foundation, $450,000 in funding from Central Hudson, $250,000 in funding from Hudson River Ventures, as well as $50,000 in matching funds from alumni, College Foundation Board members and a number of local businesses. This has allowed the College to create a state-of-the-art 3D printing facility that offers resources to the entire campus community. Equipment is regularly used by students in art, engineering and those enrolled in the digital design and fabrication minor. The latter program is open to students from across the campus.  

The funding from Central Hudson was provided from a fund designed to encourage economic development in the region. The expectation was that the HVAMC was going to help businesses, and it has done that. The range of businesses that have used the HVAMC includes sculptors, jewelers, designers, fabricators, manufacturers, architects, chocolatiers, inventors and entrepreneurs. A number of the owners or employees in these businesses are New Paltz alumni. In the process, the HVAMC has employed close to 30 students from across the campus as interns. Supporting the economy in the region by providing a work force with a broad training in the liberal arts, with access to the professional expertise and resources, is a core part of the mission of SUNY New Paltz.  

In my experience, I have found Central Hudson to be an excellent partner to work with and they have partnered with the College in other ways, too. This includes construction of a state-of-the-art solar energy generation and storage system in the Elting Gymnasium. 

Dan Freedman,

Dean of the School of Science and Engineering and Director of the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center (HVAMC)