Johnson celebrates its ‘second home’ on Roosevelt Island

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Daryl Lovell

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management marked a major milestone Sept. 13 at the official dedication of the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. The new campus is now the hub for all Johnson programs in New York City in addition to being the home of the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA.

“Expanding our presence in New York City is of strategic importance to Johnson, providing geographic proximity to our alumni and corporate partners, and immersion in the business capital of the world,” said Soumitra Dutta, dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. “Johnson now has a significant presence in The Bridge on Cornell’s new campus on Roosevelt Island, where we are leasing 20,000 square feet of space, including two tiered classrooms, eight breakout rooms, and workspace for over 20 faculty and staff.”

The Cornell Tech campus brings to life Johnson’s “one college, two campuses” model that seeks to integrate the best of both worlds among the school’s programs in Ithaca and in New York City.

Soumitra Dutta, dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and Mark Nelson, Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of the Johnson School, at The Bridge on the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City.

“Johnson already has benefited in many ways from our involvement in Cornell Tech,” said Mark Nelson, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean. “Our Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program is in its fourth year of growth and set to flourish on Roosevelt Island. That program has sparked innovation in Ithaca, with our Ithaca-based students able to take a Digital Tech Immersion inspired by Cornell Tech’s Studio Curriculum. Now, our Ithaca-based students can take courses in Johnson’s Bridge space on the new campus, including seven-week intensives in digital marketing and FinTech this coming spring. The synergy between these two campuses creates tremendously exciting opportunities.”

Doug Stayman, Cornell Tech associate dean and associate professor of marketing, said, “It’s amazing to be here, on a campus right in the middle of New York.” Stayman has played a key role in developing the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program, serving as faculty director for the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA, 2014-17. “You’re in these beautiful buildings – each one unique and exciting in its own way – but you also have big, open green space, plus beautiful views of New York.” And it’s accessible, he added: “Just take the F train.”

Mukti Khaire, the Girish and Jaidev Reddy Professor of Practice and faculty director of the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program, said, “As someone who focuses her research and teaching on entrepreneurship, especially in creative and cultural industries, it has been exciting to be part of a campus focused on digital entrepreneurial leadership – especially in New York City, which is a hub for the creative industries.”

All Johnson faculty in New York City, including those who teach in the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA and in the Cornell Executive MBA Metro NY, are housed in the Bloomberg Center along with all Cornell Tech faculty. Johnson faculty and staff moved into the new campus in early August, and Cornell Tech students joined them there when classes began Aug. 22.

The New York City metro area is home to more than 3,000 Johnson alumni and an active alumni club. Johnson has hosted conferences, speakers and other events in New York City, and has been steadily growing its programs there.

The school launched its first program, the Cornell Executive MBA Metro NY in New York City in 1999. In 2005, when Johnson launched its Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA program (now the Cornell Executive MBA Americas), it broadcast instruction from Sage Hall to students in New York City and other cities. In 2014, Johnson launched the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA, focused on developing leaders in the digital economy. And in August of this year, Johnson and Weill Cornell Medicine launched the Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership, which includes residential sessions in Ithaca and in New York City and weekend classes held at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

Johnson Cornell Tech faculty and leadership on the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. From left: Karan Girotra, professor of operations, technology and information management; Mukti Khaire, Girish and Jaidev Reddy Professor of Practice and new faculty director for the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA program; Gautam Ahuja, professor of management operations; Mark Nelson, Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean; Roni Michaely, Rudd Family Professor of Finance; Clarence Lee, assistant professor of marketing and Breazzano Family Sesquicentennial Fellow; Michelle Duguid, associate professor of management and organizations; and Doug Stayman, Cornell Tech associate dean and associate professor of marketing.

The Cornell Tech campus is also opening New York City’s tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem for Johnson’s Ithaca-based students, faculty and programs. Johnson is offering Ithaca-based MBA students four new weekend courses at Cornell Tech: Digital Leadership in Cultural Markets, Designing Data Products, Design Thinking and Leading Agile Innovation.

The Cornell Tech campus was specifically designed and built to kindle interdisciplinary interaction among students and faculty, generating a free flow of ideas and possibilities, and facilitate collaboration with industry. That’s why The Bridge has faculty research labs, a state-of-the-art computing lab and a design lab where student can build prototypes.

“Everyone is very eager to start something on the new campus – to contribute to what is shaping into an already life-changing experience,” said Julia Hawkins, Johnson Cornell Tech MBA ’18. “People are organizing across disciplines to form clubs, athletic teams, game nights and startups. There are few physical barriers between students and faculty ... most of us live 100 feet away and can run up to our apartments in five minutes or less.”

“We’re really building an exciting faculty who live in New York City,” said Stayman. “In addition, many other Johnson faculty teach both in Ithaca and in New York City, but are not resident at Cornell Tech.”

Janice Endresen, M.A. ’81, is an editor at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.


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