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To hear more fromPresident Simpson about building UB’s momentum, please view his fall welcome video.
AS WE BEGIN A NEW ACADEMIC YEAR, we also enter a critical phase for UB 2020. Over the past four years our plan for excellence has achieved much. But tight budgets in New York, and around the country, are crimping public university systems, and UB is now working hard to do more with less.
It is imperative then that we seize the momentum afforded by several recent actions to push toward our goal of becoming a model public research university with three distinct and memorable campus centers.
In the past I have written about the important role that campus planning and growth play in UB 2020. A significant component of our vision is the expansion of our downtown presence on and around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. A constellation of events has now moved us closer to our goal that a vibrant campus in the downtown core will soon benefit UB, our region and our entire state.
UB received a $105 million capital appropriation for a clinical and translational research facility, and funding for the build-out of Downtown Gateway. In June, the university received the largest gift in its history, a $10 million commitment by UB Council Chair Jeremy M. Jacobs ’60 and his family to create the Jacobs Institute as a center of excellence for vascular research and care—a development that builds substantially on state support for the university’s downtown vision.
Finally, a historic agreement to right-size Western New York’s hospitals promises to improve health care in Western New York while strengthening many of UB’s medical residency programs.
These successes, however, are tempered by the urgent need for more stable state funding and relief from policies that keep UB from controlling its financial destiny. Indeed, UB does depend upon state support and exists within a policy environment more suited to an earlier era. I was a member of the New York State Commission on Higher Education which, over the past year, came to the unanimous conclusion—as have previous commissions—that underfunding and overregulation are holding SUNY and its campuses back.
I believe strongly that there are measures our elected officials should take that would give UB the tools needed to grow and build while costing taxpayers nothing. In fact, the growth of UB will boost the local economy by an additional $1 billion annually by 2020.
Over the past year, we have been creating a broad coalition of “UB Believers” dedicated to advancing UB’s vision. As an alumnus of UB—no matter where you reside—you can amplify the case for UB’s successes. I encourage those of you who have not yet joined to do so at www.buffalo.edu/YourUB. In the coming weeks we will be promoting a package of state reforms that would give UB the tools and flexibility needed to control our destiny. Your voice will be critical to our success.
Will you join us?
John B. Simpson, President
University at Buffalo
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