Published May 3, 2011
Yesterday, Governor Cuomo and Chancellor Zimpher announced the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program, a new initiative that gives UB and the other three SUNY University Centers an opportunity to propose projects that strengthen our university academic programs and support economic vitality in our communities.
During the news conference, the governor repeatedly expressed his strong support for UB, for our long-term vision, and for the legislative changes we are seeking, as well as voicing his desire to obtain approval for those changes from the Assembly and Senate this legislative session. I was very encouraged to hear that.
I am pleased to share that UB will respond to the governor's call for proposals by submitting a plan to build a 21st century facility that will be the new home for the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus — as envisioned by our comprehensive master plan.
Moving the medical school downtown is an appropriate initial step toward realizing our university's vision of excellence. It offers both academic and economic benefits that improve the quality of life within and far beyond our region, by linking medical education and research more closely with patient care, and by enabling researchers and clinicians to work together to create discoveries that can be spun off into companies that create — and keep — jobs in our Western New York community.
If this proposal is approved, the NYSUNY 2020 initiative will provide $35 million in state capital funds — an important down payment. The legislative reforms we have been seeking will help us implement this key project and achieve future phases of our long-term UB 2020 vision.
The legislation sponsored by the Western New York delegation and passed earlier this year by the State Senate will provide these reforms, and I am hopeful that with the strong support of the governor and the chancellor, the reforms will be enacted this year.
I want to thank all of you, our many community advocates, the Western New York delegation, Chancellor Zimpher, and the Governor for their steadfast leadership.
This NYSUNY 2020 initiative represents an important step toward achieving our ambitious vision of excellence. I look forward to continuing our partnership as a university community to advance that vision.