ALBANY, N.Y. -- The New York State Senate today approved the UB
2020 Flexibility and Economic Growth Act, marking a major step
forward in passage of the bill into state law.
University at Buffalo President John B. Simpson thanked members
of the Senate for their support of the bill, which will help UB
move forward with UB 2020, the plan to increase UB's economic
impact on Western New York from $1.7 billion to $3.6 billion
annually, and create a projected 10,000 jobs in a variety of
sectors -- in information technology, maintenance/custodial/trade,
clerical, faculty and professional administration, and technical
and research support.
The bill next goes to the state Assembly for consideration.
"The Senate's passage of this bill is great news for UB and our
region; it brings us another step closer to fully implementing a
plan that will benefit the entire community," Simpson said.
"We're deeply grateful to Senator William Stachowski for his
steadfast support through his sponsorship of the bill, which has
been pivotal to its progress through the Senate," added Simpson.
"Senator Stachowski, Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith and Senators
Carl Kruger, Michael Ranzenhofer, Toby Ann Stavisky, Antoine
Thompson, George Maziarz and Dale Volker consistently have been
strong and vocal advocates for the vital role that UB plays in
transforming our region and state.
"Their willingness to champion UB 2020 as the path to a strong
knowledge economy will go a long way toward extending and deepening
the university's impact on our larger communities throughout the
region and state."
In passing the bill, Senator Stachowski noted that current state
policies interfere with the way institutions can do business in New
"Relief from burdensome rules like being prevented from
partnering with the private sector would save taxpayers money and
keep us competitive with other state systems and public research
universities," Stachowski said. "For example, by using the methods
called for in this bill, we will be able save taxpayers $22 million
for construction of a UB-Kaleida Health global vascular research
building to be constructed in downtown Buffalo this year."
Other senators pointed out that the bill provides a sensible and
immediate way for UB to achieve its UB 2020 plan -- without cost to
Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith said, "When fully implemented,
the positive economic impact of UB 2020 will mean great things for
the Western New York economy. We're talking about as many as 10,000
long-term new jobs, and hundreds of millions of dollars pumping
into the economy that can be used to attract new businesses and
investments across every sector. Senator Stachowski deserves credit
for working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, as well as
the incredible UB leadership, to develop legislation that will help
the university and the region grow."
The bill proposes to give UB the financial flexibility to pursue
UB 2020, the university's plan to build a great public research
university that is the catalyst for a thriving knowledge-based
economy in Western New York.
Among the reforms proposed by the bill, UB would be allowed to
implement a rational tuition policy whereby the university retains
revenues from small increases in tuition. These revenues would used
to fund campus expansion and fund a 20 percent increase in
financial aid available to students, providing a sizable increase
in financial aid currently available to students through the
state's Tuition Assistance Program.
The bill also would provide UB with 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 universities nationwide.
"Passage of this bill is critical to the success of UB 2020 and
represents a prosperous, innovative way forward for our community
-- leading to the creation of new jobs, new businesses and a
world-class university accessible to all New Yorkers," said Senator
Senator Volker said, "today's passage of S. 2020 in support of
the University at Buffalo's 2020 program is an enormous step
forward for the university.
"Academic programs, innovations, research and jobs will all be
expanded because of this legislation. Giving the University at
Buffalo flexibility in how they operate is a necessity in today's
academic research environment. That is why this legislation is
needed more than ever and why I am pleased to have voted 'yes' for
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.
Supporting the UB 2020 efforts are the Buffalo Building and
Construction Trades Council, 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 Association.
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.