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Stanford ends bid to build NYC tech school

By Joan Gralla

(Reuters) - California's Stanford University, one of the top engineering schools in the United States, said on Friday it had dropped out of the bidding to build an applied sciences and engineering college campus in New York City.

Stanford's decision will make it more difficult for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to realize his vision to create a high-tech hub in New York City to compete with Silicon Valley. The new engineering school is viewed as one of the ways the mayor hopes to leave a lasting imprint on the city before his term ends in 2013.

But other prestigious schools remain in the running, including Cornell University, which said on Friday it had received $350 million from an anonymous donor -- the largest gift in its history -- to build the proposed high-tech campus.

The New York Times said on Friday on its website that Stanford withdrew its bid because Cornell was so far ahead in fund-raising.

Spokesmen for Stanford did not return calls seeking comment.

Other top schools expected to submit bids for this project include Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University and a group of schools working with New York University, according to The New York Times website.

In a statement, Stanford said: "After several weeks of negotiations with New York City, university leaders and the Stanford Board of Trustees have determined that it would not be in the best interests of the university to continue to pursue the opportunity."

Julie Wood, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said in a statement: "This competition is about changing the future of the City's economy, and we are thrilled that we have a number of proposals that we believe will do exactly that."

The city plans to announce a decision soon, she added.

(Reporting by Joan Gralla; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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