Engineering school name change brings mixed feedback

After a $100 million dollar donation, NYU Tandon continues to receive more funding.

NYU’s engineering school has a new name following a $100 million donation from Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon, NYU announced early Monday morning. The school will now be known as the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

The donation comes with an agreement from the university to raise an additional $50 million for financial aid. In a press release, NYU President John Sexton said the gift from the Tandons will accelerate Poly’s trajectory and greatly contribute to the engineering world.

“This will transform engineering at NYU and will have an impact that will reach far beyond its students and faculty, beyond even NYU,” Sexton said. “It will boost New York City’s — and especially Brooklyn’s — growing tech sector and, most of all, it will yield generations of innovators who, connected to NYU’s global network, will solve pressing and challenging problems throughout the world.”

Sexton said the couple sees the same potential for greatness that NYU does, and thanked them for the contribution. The Tandons have previously donated money to the university.

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Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon is a member of the NYU Board of Trustees and a businesswoman who works with companies on a global level. She is also a Grammy-nominated musician. Ranjan Tandon runs a hedge fund and has made contributions to the Harvard Business School and Yale University as well.

Members of the NYU community have taken the news in different ways, with many vocally sharing their aversion to the new name. Some, like Tandon sophomore James Beck, have had conflicting opinions about the school’s new name.

“Being a student at Poly, I have a sense of ‘Poly Pride,’” Beck said. “We take pride in the fact that we aren’t part of main campus NYU and take a lot of pride in Poly’s roots when it was Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. And a lot of seniors I’ve spoken to want ‘Polytechnic’ on their resume and degree, since the name carries a lot of weight in the engineering world.”

He added that despite his reservations, he thinks the university the university will be able to put the $100 million to good use, and the change will hopefully help better integrate the school of engineering with the rest of the NYU community.

Others are clearer with their feelings, such as a petition on Change.org to halt the renaming of the school of engineering, which as of publication has 485 supporters.

“Changing this name to include that of a benefactor, would hinder both personal pride and reputation,” the petition reads. “No donation, no matter how significant, should allow for 161 years of heritage and educational excellence to be erased overnight.

The university says it plans to use the donation to improve many of its engineering programs, enhance interdisciplinary programs and hire new faculty. Tandon sophomore Avery Soong said he welcomes the donation, and doesn’t mind the name change if it means improvements to the already successful school.

“The Tandon family is extremely generous for providing us with this donation,” Soong said. “We as students thank them and I hope their funding is allocated wisely. Improving the reputation and student experience of the school is something the university should strive for. I would also like to see fostering opportunities such as faculty research.”
Email Alex Bazeley at [email protected]

 

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