The former John and Editha Kapoor Hall

Published June 20, 2019

The university is aware of John Kapoor’s conviction in federal court and recognizes the seriousness of this matter. The illegal and unethical activities brought to light during the trial are in stark contrast to UB’s core values and our mission to improve lives, strengthen communities and positively change the world.

As a result, the UB Council, SUNY Board of Trustees and SUNY chancellor took action to "un-name" John and Editha Kapoor Hall. Effective June 20, 2019, the building will be called the “Pharmacy Building.”

Statements

FAQ

What is the new name for the former Kapoor Hall?

Effective June 20, 2019, the building that is home to UB's School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will no longer be known as the “John and Editha Kapoor Hall." It is now called the “Pharmacy Building.” More information is available in this news release.

UB renamed the building after the SUNY Board of Trustees passed a resolution revoking the Kapoor Hall name. The “Pharmacy Building” name was recommended and approved by the university after review of long-standing university policies and practices for namings not associated with gifts. The name was selected because it best describes programmatic activities occurring within the building.

Why did UB take action to “un-name” Kapoor Hall?

John N. Kapoor was convicted of racketeering conspiracy by a federal jury in May 2019. Subsequently, the UB Council voted on June 3 to “un-name” the pharmacy school building named in his honor. The recommendation was forwarded to the SUNY chancellor and subsequently to the SUNY Board of Trustees which approved a resolution to "un-name" the building on June 20.

The following, which is from the UB Council resolution, explains why the university took action to “un-name” Kapoor Hall.

“(The) illegal actions by Dr. John N. Kapoor are wholly contrary to the University at Buffalo’s values, to our culture of excellence and integrity, and to our mission to bring the benefits of our education and research to local and global communities so that we may positively impact the world,” the UB Council resolution states.

“… in accordance with the University at Buffalo Naming Policy, the naming of the ‘John and Editha Kapoor Hall’ is hereby revoked on the basis that the actions of John N. Kapoor are wholly inconsistent with the mission and values of the University at Buffalo and undermine the accomplishments and reputation of the university.”

Why was the UB pharmacy school building named for John Kapoor in 2008?

The building that is home to UB’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences beared the name of John Kapoor and his deceased wife in recognition of their long-time philanthropic support of the school and the university.

What is the UB policy and process for removing a donor’s name from a building?

UB policy allows for modification of a naming if a future action or event occurs that will cause irreparable injury to the university’s image, reputation, or ability to pursue its mission or if the donor does not fulfill his/her gift commitment at the completion of the agreed-upon payment period.

Under this policy, the “unnaming” of a building follows the same process used for a naming: recommendation by UB’s vice president for university advancement, followed by presidential and UB Council approval, followed by review and approval by the SUNY chancellor and a final decision by the SUNY Board of Trustees.  

What was the university’s timeline for making a decision on removing the Kapoor name?

The University at Buffalo Council passed a resolution at the June 3 public meeting to “un-name” the pharmacy school building named in honor of John N. Kapoor. The recommendation was then approved at the June 20 SUNY Board of Trustees' meeting. Immediately following the SUNY Board of Trustees’ decision, UB renamed the building the "Pharmacy Building" because it best describes programmatic activities occurring within the building. The new name was recommended and approved by the university after review of long-standing university policies and practices for namings not associated with gifts.

Why didn’t the university’s review of its naming policy conclude soon after Kapoor was arrested?

University leadership believed it was prudent to wait until the conclusion of the trial so that the review would consider the full scope of what was brought to light during the trial, and the conviction that resulted. 

What is the university doing to address the opiate addiction crisis?

UB is committed to combating the opiate addiction crisis every day in multiple ways and involving researchers, clinicians, educators and students from across the university.

For example, more than 160 researchers at UB are investigating some aspect of addiction, from exploring its basic scientific mechanisms to developing new approaches to patient care.  And our faculty are partnering with several local organizations to develop guidelines for addiction care, educate health care providers and contribute expertise on all aspects of managing, treating and preventing addiction.

Among the many efforts underway at UB:

  • The Opioid Prescriber Training Program offered by the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has trained more than 44,000 licensed prescribers in New York State on how to prevent prescription drug overuse, misuse, abuse and overdose.
  • Researchers at UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions are working with the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to identify patients most at-risk for future opioid misuse.
  • The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has helped to implement an innovative, cost-effective program at more than a dozen local hospitals that provides medication-assisted treatment to opioid use disorder patients, and then rapidly transitions them into long-term treatment at a community clinic within 48 hours.
  • UB has partnered with Erie County to train current and future health care providers in safe acute-pain management. The partnership educates providers, patients and the community about the risks of opioid pain medications and how quickly addiction can occur when opiates are prescribed -- even for legitimate reasons. The effort involves UB’s health sciences schools – the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the School of Public Health and Health Professions – as well as the School of Social Work.
  • In April, The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and UB’s Clinical Research Institute on Addictions joined the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. In doing so, UB is one of more than 100 organizations nationwide that have reaffirmed its commitment to combatting the opioid crisis through collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts and partnerships.

How much have the Kapoors donated to UB?

Dr. Kapoor and the John and Editha Kapoor Charitable Foundation gave about $10.8 million to the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

His gifts supported construction of a new home for the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which opened in 2012, as well as student financial aid, faculty research and new educational and research technologies within the pharmacy school.

Is the university considering returning some or all of the money donated by Kapoor?

The gift has been spent and invested in areas that the university believes benefit students and society: the education and training of future pharmacists and researchers, and the pursuit of new treatments and innovations to improve health, including new ways to combat the opioid addiction crisis.

Nearly all of the gift that was designated for renovation of the building (Kapoor Hall) and for educational technologies within the building has been spent.  Other gifts from the Kapoors were invested as endowed funds to support in perpetuity programs for student aid and faculty research. These funds are not available to be returned or used for purposes other than what was designated at the time the gifts were made.   

Did SUNY revoke John Kapoor's honorary degree?

The SUNY Board of Trustees June 20 resolution also revoked the honorary doctor of science degree awarded in 2000 to John Kapoor. The resolution states that his crimes violate SUNY's core principles and run counter to the ethical standards taught within UB’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.