[Skip to Content]

New $10 million academic building planned for SUNY Upstate

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - SUNY Upstate Medical University has dedicated the future site of its new academic building-named for Jules and Rose Setnor and Rose's brother, Stanford-during a camus ceremony Sept. 14.

The five-story, $10 million, 46,000 square foot building will be the first new classroom space built on the SUNY Upstate campus in nearly three decades, and it will provide one of most contemporary settings for medical education, especially the teaching of clinical skills.

The building is being made possible by donations from SUNY Upstate alumni, most notably the Setnors, whose $3 million lead gift will ensure the building's state-of-the-art design. Funding from New York state and SUNY Upstate's capital budget also will support construction costs.

"We are grateful to the Setnors for their extraordinary support of our academic mission," said SUNY Upstate President Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D. "The generosity of the Setnors and that of all alumni who support this effort continues a strong tradition of beneficence on the part of our medical alumni. Our students are thankful for your support as it helps continue our tradition of excellence in medical education."

The Setnors connection to SUNY Upstate comes by way of Syracuse University. Both Jules Setnor and Stanford Setnor earned medical degrees from Syracuse University's Medical College in 1935 and 1942, respectively. Syracuse University's Medical College became affiliated with the State University of New York in 1950. Rose Setnor, who earned a degree from SU in 1933, married Jules Setnor at the end of his second year in medical school.

The gift to SUNY Upstate is the second significant gift the Setnors have given to area educational institutions. In 1997, the Setnors made a gift to Syracuse University to support scholarships for undergraduate students in the School of Music, which now bears their name.

The Rose and Jules R. Setnor, MD '35 and Stanford S. Setnor, MD '42 Academic Building will enhance available teaching space at SUNY Upstate significantly and enable the university to strengthen its curriculum in areas that require special teaching space.

One such space is the Clinical Skills Teaching Center, which includes 22 exam rooms, closed-circuit monitoring and state of the art medical equipment. It is in this space that students will shape their "bedside manner" and clinical skills. Students will practice taking medical histories and performing exams on "standardized patients" or actors role-playing as patients. The meeting between physician and patient will take place just as it does in the doctor's office. The student will take a medical history and conduct a patient exam. An instructor in an adjoining room will watch the exchange between patient and physician from a video monitor. Later, the student and instructor will view the video and discuss ways to improve communications with the patient.

"In the recent past, medical schools have moved away from teaching about the personal side of medicine, in favor of exploring the latest in medical technology, " said Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., executive vice president and dean of the College of Medicine. "Collectively, we have forgotten how important bedside manner, communication skills and physical diagnosis are to the education of caring physicians.

"It is now more crucial than ever that academic medicine rededicate itself to teaching these important skills," Scheinman said. "This new building, in particular the Clinical Skills Teaching Center, will provide us with the optimum environment to support and enrich our training of tomorrow's physicians."

While the Clinical Skills Teaching Center is a highlight of the Setnor Academic Building, it is not the only significant teaching space. The building will boast six new classrooms, all of which can be reconfigured or divided to facilitate small group demonstrations. Classrooms will be named for faculty members who have been recognized for their outstanding teaching by students. They are: Robert Rohner, M.D. (Pathology); Frederick B. Parker, M.D. (Surgery); Elinor Spring-Mills, Ph.D. (Cell and Developmental Biology); Maxwell Mozell, Ph.D. (College of Graduate Studies); Irwin Weiner M.D. (Pharmacology).

Conference and meeting room space, an office suite for faculty and the Medical Alumni Office round out the building design. The alumni office space will be significant in that it will serve as a gathering place for alumni visiting campus. The alumni office is currently located in the Campus Activities Building.

The building, which will stand on the northside of Weiskotten Hall, will be connected to Weiskotten Hall by a glass atrium that will be conducive to informal study groups. Construction on the Setnor Academic Building will be completed by 2007.

Holt Architects PC of Ithaca is the building designer.