BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The UB 2020 Flexibility and Economic Growth Act
moved closer to passage today when the bill was approved by the New
York State Senate Higher Education Committee.
The bill, sponsored by Senator William T. Stachowski, now goes
to the Senate Finance Committee for review and then to the full
Senate for a vote before moving on to the Assembly for
"It is very gratifying that members of the Senate committee
believe, as we do, in the critical importance of UB 2020 to the
Western New York economy," said UB President John B. Simpson. "This
brings UB one step closer to fulfilling our ambitious goals for UB
2020: to build a great public research university that is the
catalyst for a thriving knowledge-based economy in our region.
"We appreciate greatly the support this bill has received from
Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith, from Senator Stachowski,
in his critical role as chair of the Senate Economic Development
Committee, and from Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing), chair
of the Higher Education Committee."
"This pilot program will help transform the University at
Buffalo into an engine for economic growth in Erie County and
Western New York," Stavisky said. "The vision of the UB 2020 plan
creates an extraordinary marriage of the business and academic
communities to improve both the quality of education and the
economic health of the region. With the leadership of Senator
Stachowski and Senator Smith, we are committed to exploring
innovative ideas to improve the economic climate in Western New
"I firmly believe that the UB 2020 plan can help address the
single most important issue: the need to create jobs and spur
development," Stachowski added. "After years of planning and
discussion, thanks to this legislation, UB will be in the forefront
of the economic revitalization in our community."
The UB 2020 Flexibility and Economic Growth Act proposes changes
in state policy that can be implemented quickly, without cost to
taxpayers, and which will allow UB to move forward with its plans
to expand and grow, particularly in downtown Buffalo. The bill
would provide UB with a rational tuition strategy, flexibility in
spending and contracting, access to capital markets and the ability
to lease and purchase land and facilities.
These reforms would give UB the financial flexibility needed to
pursue growth strategies commonly used by other large research
Achieving UB 2020 is projected to increase UB's economic impact
on Western New York from $1.7 billion to $3.6 billion annually, and
will create well over 10,000 jobs in a variety of sectors -- in
information technology, maintenance/custodial/trade, clerical,
faculty and professional administrators, and technical and research
More than 30 of New York State's most prominent and influential
business, labor, community and university groups support the UB
2020 initiative as the region's best strategy for economic
development and regional job creation.
Paul Brown, president of the Buffalo Building and Construction
Trades Council, which is a leading proponent of the legislation,
said: "The Building Trades believes strongly that UB 2020 will be a
pivotal catalyst for economic growth in Western New York and calls
on the State Assembly and Senate to pass the UB 2020 Flexibility
and Economic Growth Act in this legislative session.
"This legislation will lead to the building of new world-class
research facilities, expanded research capabilities for new
high-tech and green jobs, attract high-tech business to the area,
increase investment in our community, revitalize and expand the
downtown campus and dramatically increase student enrollment. In
short, UB 2020 will become a regional economic engine."
Also supporting the UB 2020 efforts are the Buffalo Niagara
Partnership, Amherst Chamber of Commerce, the City of Buffalo, Erie
County, Town of Amherst, United Autoworkers, Kaleida Health,
Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the
Board of Block Clubs, United Way, Oishei Foundation, the UB
Undergraduate Student Association, UB Faculty Senate and UB Parent
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.