UB Proposes Plan to Build Downtown Medical Campus, Pursue Academic Excellence and Create Jobs

Release Date: May 24, 2011

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UB President Satish K. Tripathi, along with UB Council chair Jeremy Jacobs and other UB officials, was in Albany May 24 to submit a proposal in support of relocating UB's medical school downtown.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi today submitted a proposal to the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program in support of a $375 million plan to help revitalize Buffalo's economy by relocating UB's medical school to downtown Buffalo.

Under the proposal, the university will implement the next phase of the UB 2020 plan for academic excellence, spurring rapid development of Buffalo's emerging biomedical economy -- creating new jobs, spinning off new biotechnology companies and expanding educational opportunities for students.

More than 3,000 new full-time jobs will be created in Western New York by 2018 under the proposal, the university estimates:

-- This includes 1,325 new jobs at UB (410 faculty and 915 staff to support clinical care, service, teaching and research)

-- 1,740 new jobs resulting from UB's research growth (based on U.S. Department of Commerce estimates)

-- 200 jobs in 10 start-up companies developed from university research and partnerships

-- In addition, more than 1,600 construction jobs would be created to build a new medical school for the university in downtown Buffalo

The $375 million UB proposal, to be implemented over the next seven years, will be financed by

-- $35 million from the governor's challenge grant

-- $50 million to be raised in private gifts to the UB medical school

-- $50 million from private partnerships

-- $40 million in research grants

-- $100 million from UB capital and other sources and

-- $100 million from medical school program fee

The medical school project will serve as catalyst for additional development with Kaleida Health, Buffalo's largest hospital system -- and other private and public entities -- making it a $655 million investment in Buffalo's downtown medical campus, according to the proposal.

UB is asking the state legislature to approve a$200 per semester tuition increase. A financial-aid program financed by the tuition revenues will guarantee minimal increases in tuition for students and families making less than $75,000 per year:

-- Tuition would not increase for families with annual incomes up to $40,000

-- Tuition would increase $30 per semester for families with annual incomes between $40,000 and $60,000

-- Tuition would increase $70 per semester for families with annual incomes between $60,000 and $70,000

-- Tuition would increase $100 per semester for families with annual incomes between $70,000 and $75,000

UB's tuition is one of the lowest among the 60 U.S. research universities that make up the Association of American Universities (AAU). Even with the proposed tuition increase, UB would remain one of the most affordable major public universities in the U.S.

UB already has begun moving medical research facilities to downtown Buffalo to help grow the city's heath care and biotech industry. In 2005, UB opened the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. In June, the university will open the UB Institute for Healthcare Informatics, leveraging a $15 million investment from computer giant Dell. In the fall, UB and Kaleida Health will open a $291 million clinical care and research facility.

UB's proposal also was praised by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher who, with Gov. Cuomo, developed the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program to increase the economic impact of SUNY's four university centers and strengthen educational opportunities for students.

"I am impressed by the significant planning and analysis performed by the University at Buffalo to show how it will leverage this challenge grant to benefit students and the Western New York economy," Zimpher said. "UB and all of SUNY's university centers have tremendous potential to be even greater economic drivers in New York State. My hope is this challenge grant will give them the opportunity to do so immediately."

UB President Satish K. Tripathi said, "This proposal will enable UB to pursue its plan for academic excellence and contribute more significantly to Buffalo's emerging biomedical economy. It will create jobs in our community and greatly expand educational opportunities for our students.

"Our tuition proposal will give UB the means to pursue academic excellence while protecting students' access to high-quality education, especially for the state's neediest students, Tripathi added.

Michael Cain, MD, dean of UB's medical school, said "We have seen post-industrial cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland and St. Louis achieve dramatic economic turnarounds by aligning university medical centers with community hospitals to build thriving biomedical industries that improve patient care."

James R. Kaskie, president and CEO of Kaleida Health, said the momentum created by UB and Kaleida Health's expansion in downtown Buffalo would make the region a national hub for patient care and medical research. "We have an unprecedented opportunity before us to transform our region's economy and pioneer new treatments and innovative health care," Kaskie said.

Jeremy M. Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North Companies and chairman of the UB Council, said, "UB's proposal has earned unprecedented support in our region -- from business leaders, to legislators to students to faith-based organizations. UB's plan is a strategy for our entire region to move forward --economically, culturally and socially. A better UB will yield a better, stronger Western New York."

Robert Brady, CEO of Moog, Inc., a manufacturer of components and systems for aircraft, space, industrial and medical applications, said, "I've seen firsthand the value of partnering with a major research university. Moog is investing in Western New York precisely because UB is located here and can supply us with a skilled workforce and the innovations we need to advance our business."

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "UB's expansion into downtown Buffalo will create new jobs and open up new opportunities that can revitalize neighborhoods and improve quality of life throughout Buffalo's urban core."

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 29,000 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.

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