2020 Challenge Banner showing Manhattan Bridge

THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK is a leading catalyst for economic revitalization in New York City and New York State. In 2013, the Governor created the NY-CUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program, a joint program between the Governor and CUNY. The goal of the CUNY2020 Challenge Grant Program is to incentivize long-term economic development implementation plans, driven by CUNY’s campuses in areas of their academic strengths.  The capital funds provided will support programmatic needs, and provide academically aligned, sustainable long-term economic development affecting students and the surrounding community.  The success of this program is intended to impact future economic development decisions.

THE NY-CUNY 2020 CHALLENGE GRANT PROGRAM will provide a total of $55 million in capital funding.  The competitive process is open to all CUNY senior colleges, graduate and professional schools, and community colleges.  Joint and individual applications are encouraged.  Multiple awards will be made to support transformational projects that leverage investment, advance academic research and provide significant economic impact through job creation.

NY-CUNY 2020 Proposals Guidelines

  • Align with the New York City Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan with particular focus on job creation and MWBE goals
  • Support the CUNY 2012 – 2016 Master Plan
  • Promote Academic Excellence and Student Success
  • Encourage Collaboration and Partnerships
  • Leverage External Resources
  • Provide Implementation Plans


All presentations regarding the NY-CUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program are posted here.

A Town Hall style meeting was convened on March 14, 2013.  The presentation made at that meeting can be downloaded by using the link below. The Town Hall Presentation was made again to the University Faculty Senate on April 9, 2013.

NY-CUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program Town Hall Presentation

A roundtable style meeting was convened on May 9, 2013.  The presentation made at that meeting can be downloaded by using the link below.

NY-CUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program Roundtable Presentation

Application and Resources

The Application was made available to all College Presidents or Deans in June, 2013.

We are providing links below to related resources which may be useful. We will continue to update these links with relevant reference materials.

  1. CUNY Master Plan
  2. NYC Regional EDC Strategic Plan
  3. NYC Regional EDC Progress Report
  4. Governor’s 6/3/13 press release regarding Round II of NY-SUNY2020
  5. Governor’s 7/25/14 press release announcing NY-CUNY2020 Round I award winners