Governor and Chancellor announce approval of UB's NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant, December 13, 2011
Good morning! It’s wonderful to share this exciting announcement with you all.
Today, our UB community and all of Western New York share in an achievement that puts our community further down the path toward a very promising future.
I want to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all who helped to make this key milestone possible:
First, I want to thank Governor Cuomo for making this project a top priority of his administration, and for never giving up the fight to get it done. UB has waited a long time for Albany to act. And thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership, UB2020 will finally become a reality.
I also want to thank the members of the entire Western New York delegation (past and present), for their strong and unwavering support for UB 2020, and Chancellor Zimpher, for her key leadership and partnership throughout this process. Our community leaders have lent their strong support to UB 2020—including elected leadership as well as our partners in the business, health care, labor, and faith-based communities. I especially want to acknowledge and thank those who traveled with us to Albany last May to present our plan to the Governor and Chancellor, including: UB Council Chairman Jeremy Jacobs (he could not be with us today, but his support has been pivotal throughout this process); Mayor Brown; Jim Kaskie; and Bob Brady. Finally, heartfelt thanks to our UB alumni, faculty, staff, and students, and the broader coalition of UB supporters across the region, state, and beyond.
Together, we have all worked hand in hand over the past several years to make the case that an even better, stronger UB will have an even stronger impact—on our students and families, on our communities, and on our state as a whole. And step by step we are steadily realizing that vision. Combined with the passage of the historic NYSUNY 2020 legislation earlier this year, and today’s approval of UB’s challenge grant application, we now have all the critical tools we need to advance the next phase of the UB 2020 plan for academic excellence.
Implementing the next phase of our long-range UB 2020 vision will help us achieve three vital and closely connected objectives: Enhanced educational and research excellence; improved health care and quality of life for Western New York; and the creation of a strong innovation economy that is critical to the future of our region and state.
These outcomes are good for our students, they are good for our university as a whole, and they are good for our community.
Last week, our Western New York region received a tremendous boost when the Governor announced that our region’s economic development strategy is a “best plan” awardee. Our Regional Economic Development Council’s plan seeks to maximize our existing strengths and resources in higher education, business, and industry—thus fostering the climate that can help our people and institutions reach their fullest potential. And UB has a special role to play in creating that environment.
Today, our university and our community can celebrate another giant step forward with the approval of our NYSUNY 2020 proposal. Together, we are steadily implementing the next phase of our long-range vision of an even better, stronger university—one that opens even more doors of opportunity for our students, and one that has an even greater impact on our communities.
Imagine what our Buffalo community will look like when we realize this next phase of UB 2020—just one aspect of our larger vision for UB:
A city that is nationally recognized as a destination for world-class healthcare and research, and the core of a thriving, revitalized region. New businesses and spin-offs created through innovative research-industry partnerships. Thousands of new jobs for our region’s people—and an influx of more world-class faculty and bright students into our region. And a true downtown campus: an open, inviting setting where researchers and students can exchange ideas over a cup of coffee—and where meeting with a colleague from another institution means just a short walk down the street.
With each step forward, we are growing closer to making that vision a reality. The bright future we envision for our university and our community is just on the horizon.