Updated August 27, 2019
UB’s campus master plan is an extension of the UB 2020 strategic plan for the university’s advancement into the ranks of America’s premier 21st century public research universities. The master plan provides guidelines for improvements and developments that support UB’s academic mission and strategic vision, allowing academic excellence to flourish.
In addition to guiding the development and growth of cutting-edge research, the plan will enable UB to continue to offer a transformative educational experience for each student, and provide Western New York communities with critical care.
Together with the UB 2020 vision, this comprehensive physical plan will guide development of a single university located within three well-connected campuses, each one organized by a compelling academic concept:
UB’s Downtown Campus is comprised of facilities in and around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC). The BNMC is a consortium of nine health care related institutions, including UB, Kaleida Health, Oishei Children’s Hospital
and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, all of which occupy a 100-acre district at the northern edge of downtown Buffalo.
Several existing UB facilities, such as the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the Research Institute on Addictions, the Ira G. Ross Eye Institute, a new Global Vascular Institute building (in cooperation with Kaleida), UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center and a UB Biosciences Incubator, are also located on UB’s Downtown Campus.
Downtown Buffalo is becoming a hub for the University’s civic engagement programs, with the 2007 acquisition of the former M. Wile factory building – now the UB Downtown Gateway – and construction of the New Educational Opportunity Center (EOC). The Jacobs Executive Development Center, now occupied by Alumni Relations, rounds out UB’s current Downtown Campus.
The future of UB’s Downtown Campus will be shaped by the relocation of the university’s Health Sciences Schools from the South Campus to the Downtown Campus. The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is beginning a new chapter in the university’s history. The eight-story, 628,000-square-foot facility opened in 2017, putting superior medical education, clinical care and pioneering research in close proximity, anchoring Buffalo’s evolving comprehensive academic health center in a vibrant setting.
The relocation was made possible with funding from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program and other sources, including private philanthropy. The integration of resources and potential for collaboration with partner institutions Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and other members of BNMC will bring to life the vision for the downtown campus: the creation of a world-class center of clinical practices, medical education and health sciences research.
These new facilities will better enable the school to advance health and wellness for the people of Western New York and the world through research, clinical care and the education of tomorrow’s leaders in health care and biomedical sciences. Additionally, the medical school faculty and residents provide care for the community’s diverse populations through strong clinical partnerships and the school’s practice plan, UBMD.
UB’s North Campus, where most of the university’s core academic programs are offered, is located in suburban Amherst, NY. Opened in the early 1970s, it is the largest of UB’s three campuses: 125 buildings include state-of-the-art academic and research spaces, student residence halls and apartments, the Student Union, administrative offices and athletic venues — including the newly-completed, 92,000 square foot Murchie Family Fieldhouse, a facility for year-round training for UB Athletics.
UB’s North Campus is currently home to the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Education, UB Law School, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, School of Management and School of Social Work. These programs support both undergraduate and graduate study. Baird Research Park, which supports the creation of new technology-based businesses founded on research activities at UB, is located on the western edge of the campus.
The Center for the Arts presents a wide range of high quality performing arts and visual arts for the university, the state and the region, enhancing and augmenting the academic activities of the UB Departments of Art, and Theatre and Dance. In addition, Slee Hall plays a crucial role in the creation and presentation of music at UB. Slee Hall contains the 670 seat Lippes Concert Hall, built with a variable acoustical structure, which serves as the home to a number of notable concert series.
UB remains committed to its South Campus, a Western New York landmark dating back to the 1920s. Located in a residential neighborhood in North Buffalo, it is home to classic ivy-covered buildings, as well as residence halls and cutting-edge research and teaching facilities. The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, as well as the UB Schools of Architecture and Planning, Dental Medicine, Public Health and Health Professions, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Nursing are on the South Campus.
Following the now-completed relocation of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, UB health sciences will eventually entirely relocate to UB’s Downtown Campus. The long-term vision of UB’s campus master plan calls for relocating the schools of nursing, public health and dentistry to the Downtown Campus, as well.
In their place, the university will establish a new center of interdisciplinary professional education comprising the schools of law, education, social work, architecture and planning, and some programs from the management school. All of these, with the exception of architecture and planning, will migrate from the North Campus.
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 is now called the “Pharmacy Building.”
The campus master plan acknowledges UB’s established strengths and its future potential to align these strengths to build academic excellence and achieve significant academic prominence. It is respectful of the clear vision articulated by UB2020 – and is responsive to its principles.
A central motto of the UB 2020 vision is: “Three Campuses – One University.” It is important that although there is a distinct purpose for each campus, there should be consistency in approach and quality with regard to the initiatives of the campus master plan.
The goal of the campus master plan for UB’s North Campus is to improve and build upon its essential assets, the dense academic core, Lake LaSalle and the ring of naturalized lands that surround them, increasing the campus activity level and creating a more beautiful and welcoming environment. The North Campus will retain its significance as the university’s arts, cultural and athletics center.
UB’s North Campus plan provides modernization of facilities, campus life initiatives, infrastructure renewal, a new Heart of the Campus, and public realm improvements. Through these measures, the plan will be able to apply lessons learned from prior decades to create a more unified and vibrant place of learning, research and work.
The campus master plan is also focused on simplifying North Campus vehicular circulation, making new connections to adjacent neighborhoods, providing support for bicycles and other alternative modes of travel and reserving a place for light rail transit to arrive from UB’s South Campus and beyond.
The North Campus will expand and improve the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Management. As the academic center of gravity for the North Campus and the university as a whole, the College of Arts and Sciences will remain and grow where it is today. By retaining the purpose and identity of the North Campus, the campus master plan provides a long-term strategy for its continued academic excellence and improving the quality of facilities, amenities and cultural programs.
In addition to a focus on professional education, the South Campus plan includes greater integration with campus neighbors and re-emphasizing green spaces:
The plan offers a balanced response to academic, public realm, infrastructure and student life needs:
The plan offers an ambitious list of projects to accomplish over the 2013 – 2023 planning period. Key initiatives include:
The schedule of relocations will depend on available funding, and will follow established sequence and priorities. The pace of development on UB’s Downtown and North Campuses will also depend on public/private partnerships and marketable density.
The implementation strategy for the UB campus master plan is guided by the overall vision for its three campuses. Some key elements of the academic realignment plan are already in motion and will allow the backfill of buildings to be vacated on the North Campus. Other moves will depend upon the construction of new medical school facilities on the Downtown Campus and the demolition of several buildings on UB’s South Campus.
Additional academic realignment initiatives and South Campus infrastructure projects with a high priority for the university include:
2013 - 2023 - Parker Hall Renovation (ongoing)
2021 - Diefendorf Annex
2022 - Hayes Annex A, B & C
2023 - Acheson Annex
2024 - Sherman Hall (approximate date, not confirmed)
2025 – Planned relocations of Schools of Nursing and Public Health to Downtown Campus.
Beyond – Planned relocation of School of Dental Medicine to Downtown Campus.