Release Date: December 13, 2011
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Approval today of the University at Buffalo's NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant application by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher provides a critical piece of funding needed for UB to move ahead with its UB 2020 plan for academic excellence.
In securing the $35 million Challenge Grant -- together with additional funding provided through the NYSUNY 2020 legislation approved by the state legislature in June -- UB will move ahead with plans to hire new faculty across the university, expand its academic offerings and facilities for all students and relocate the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
"We are very thankful to Gov. Cuomo, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and the state legislature for their continued support over the past year," said UB President Satish K. Tripathi. "This funding will have a historic impact on our university -- one that will transform the depth and scope of UB's academic and research enterprise while significantly expanding our role in improving the quality of life in Western New York."
With the funding provided by the Challenge Grant, and additional funding provided through NYSUNY 2020 legislation, UB will
o Hire 300 new faculty in strategic areas to increase the university's research output and the economic impact of UB research
o Replace 300 faculty who will leave the university over the next five years with 400 faculty to strengthen university programs in all academic disciplines
o Improve academic support facilities to provide state-of-the-art educational and research environments for faculty and students
o Move forward with the first phases of a $375 million plan to relocate the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, where the UB school will be in close proximity to UB's other assets on the medical campus: a new Clinical and Translational Research Center and Educational Opportunity Center now under construction; the new UB Downtown Gateway (former M. Wile building); and the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences
Achieving these objectives, Tripathi said, will enhance the quality of education for all UB students in all academic disciplines, create new jobs in the region and improve health care for all citizens of Western New York.
"Imagine what our community will look like when we realize this next phase of UB 2020," Tripathi said. "Buffalo will be a destination for world-class health care and research, new businesses will be created through innovative research-industry partnerships, thousands of new jobs will be created for our region's people and we will attract more of the world's best faculty and bright students into our region."
"The SUNY campuses continue to realize the benefits of Governor Cuomo's vision and leadership for a stronger New York and a more competitive public university system," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "By ensuring affordability, by hiring new faculty and increasing access, and by moving the medical school downtown and creating nearly 3,000 health care and construction jobs for Western New York, the University at Buffalo's NYSUNY 2020 plan promises to better serve students and positively impact both the local and state economies. This is truly a proud day for the University at Buffalo, for SUNY, and for all of New York State."
Next month, UB will begin contracting for design of a new medical school. Site selection is expected to be completed in the spring and building designs completed in April 2013. Construction is anticipated to begin in September 2013 and be completed in the fall of 2016.
UB's Challenge Grant funding adds to other efforts by Cuomo to help revitalize the economy of Western New York, Tripathi noted. Last week, the governor announced $100.3 million in funding for an economic-development plan produced by the Western New York Regional Economic Council, co-chaired by Tripathi and Buffalo businessman Howard Zemsky. Nearly 10 percent of the funding will aid research institutions on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, including the Jacobs Institute, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.