Messages

From the President

Communities proliferate in support of UB

John B. Simpson

John B. Simpson
President, University at Buffalo

WE ARE FOND of the word “community” at UB. That’s because serving the greater good is a core element of what we do as a public university. Whether we are talking about the Western New York community at our doorstep or the worldwide community of nearly 200,000 UB alumni, the essence remains the same: Near or far, an astonishing number of people, organizations and networks share as a common bond their connection to the University at Buffalo.

There are several articles in this issue of UB Today that illuminate UB’s impact on an array of communities. It’s therefore both timely and fitting for me to share an important update about our university’s vision for the future—UB 2020—and its resonance among the communities we serve. Since I last used this space to write about UB 2020, an important shift has taken place, expanding the vision from a campus plan to a broad-based, regional initiative. It’s a change that we hoped for and worked toward and are gratified to see before us. Moreover, it underscores the attention we give to community in all that we do.

For much of the past three years, we have worked hard to make UB 2020 a blueprint for the university to become one of the very best public research universities in the nation. A significant part of this effort has focused on communicating the enormous impact that UB 2020 will have on the communities outside our campus borders.

I’m very happy to say that this effort has been paying dividends of late. The most telling sign is the growth of our UB Believers campaign, which now includes over 5,000 members. This is evidence that UB 2020 has progressed from being a plan for our university’s future to become something much larger. Not only has UB 2020 become part and parcel of our institutional culture, but it also has become a much wider initiative with support from the community at large, our business leaders, the Western New York legislative delegation and a broad array of officials in Albany.

From the start, we knew that for our collective aspirations to succeed, UB had to begin with changes right here on campus. Our efforts to support our areas of greatest academic strength, to transform our services and business operations, and to build a model university for the 21st century have taken root and have made measurable progress. We also have made clear that for UB 2020 to be sustainable over the long run, the university needs strong and stable state support, wise public policies, and the continued vision and generosity of our donors.

Achieving these goals will take time, but it will be worth the effort. And both the journey and the destination will be better for the fact that UB 2020 has come to encompass more than just our university.

Thank you again for all that you do and for being a part of the UB community, wherever that community may be.

John B. Simpson

John B. Simpson
President, University at Buffalo