Published January 16, 2013
Happy New Year, and welcome back to UB! As we settle into a new academic semester and prepare to launch new courses, projects, and initiatives across campus, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on our extraordinary progress together over the past year, as well as the exciting course we’ve charted for the coming year.
2012 was a remarkable year for UB on all fronts, bringing more of the world’s best faculty, staff, and students to our university community; international distinction for our researchers and students; major educational initiatives like the Finish in Four program and the launch of new Undergraduate Academies in Entrepreneurship and Sustainability; state-of-the-art academic buildings opening on all three campuses; and major progress moving forward with our plans for the relocation of the medical school downtown.
Consider how much has happened at UB in just the past month alone:
· We launched new research and clinical enterprises like the Institute for Person-Centered Care, the first of its kind in the United States, which is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the frail, chronically ill and other vulnerable patients.
· We inaugurated innovative educational ventures like the Exports to Canada program, a collaborative economic development program that connects School of Management MBA student interns with local businesses to help increase their exports across the border.
· We celebrated a prestigious national undergraduate research fellowship in microbiology; the induction of three faculty as new Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and the appointment of three faculty as SUNY Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank accorded in the system.
· We applauded extraordinary achievements by members of our extended university community, including President Obama’s recent recognition of UB alumnus and Buffalo business leader Norman McCombs with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the U.S. government’s highest honor for technological achievement.
· We earned national acclaim for the innovation and impact of our research, such as the model provided by the new Clinical and Translational Research Center downtown, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent recognition of the Larkin District planning team, which includes graduate students from the UB School of Architecture and Planning, for its work in rebuilding a declining industrial site into a thriving, revitalized urban village.
And that was just what we accomplished in December!
These are the kind of high-impact, far-reaching achievements and contributions we’ve made throughout 2012. They embody the growing scope and impact of our university as we continue to advance our vision of excellence.
As we make steady progress, the world is taking note. Recently, we earned the prestigious distinction of being named to the top 200 universities worldwide—in the company of the world’s best research universities like Oxford, Cambridge, and the National University of Singapore. For the tenth year in a row, the University at Buffalo has been named among the top 20 institutions in the United States hosting international students. And as we continue to grow in stature, we also are earning notice for our commitment to ensuring a world-class UB education is an opportunity that is available to all with the talent and motivation to pursue it. Just last month, for example, UB was ranked by Kiplinger’s as one of the most affordable universities in the nation.
Reputation may not be everything, but it is one key index of our growing success in pursuing our vision of excellence—and a reliable indicator that the word of our success is spreading. Continuing to elevate our university in excellence, impact, and stature is the guiding objective of our UB 2020 vision. We want the world to know about UB as a top destination for innovative research and discovery. We want UB to be a place where bright students flock because they know they will have opportunities they won’t find anywhere else—including the opportunity to work directly with faculty at the cutting-edge of their fields. We want to make UB a worldwide mecca for arts, culture, and creativity, as well as an established global leader in health sciences education, research, and clinical care.
Through UB 2020, we have been making steady progress toward all of these goals, and toward our ultimate vision—to be recognized as one of the very best research universities in the nation and world. We are actively realizing this mission by building excellence, distinction, and impact in our research, education, engagement, and our physical environment.
As Provost Zukoski and I remarked with the launch of the Realizing UB 2020 initiative last fall, all of this provides us with a tremendous window of opportunity. As the next evolution of our vision, Realizing UB 2020 builds on the progress and momentum we have already achieved thus far and uses it as a springboard for taking our impact to the next level.
I thank you for all that you have contributed to UB’s progress through your ideas, accomplishments, and hard work. And I urge you to continue to play an active role in shaping our course for the future as we steadily realize our ambitious vision to make UB recognized as one of the very best research universities in the nation and world. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to read the first draft of the Realizing UB 2020 planning document and offer your input into this process.
I have every expectation that this momentum will continue to build in 2013—and we are already off to a very promising start. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year, and an enlightening and rewarding semester ahead.