University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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The List - One year, hundreds of stories. 2014-15 Progress Report.

Our Impact in Numbers

Data is more than numbers. Facts and figures tell a story too—in this case, of UB’s depth and breadth in terms of people, scholarship and the constellation of degree programs we offer students from all parts of the world. As we look to our future, we see increased academic and economic opportunity, along with the commitment of our faculty, staff, students and alumni to finding solutions for society’s most critical issues.

As the largest public research university in New York State, UB offers the most comprehensive array of academic programs—more than 100 undergraduate and combined degree programs, and more than 300 graduate and professional degree programs and certificates.
The Business Journals ranked UB among the nation’s top 50 public universities for exceptional education, strong graduation rates and affordable tuition. The average debt load for UB students at graduation is $21,228, compared to the average national student loan debt of $28,400. UB students’ debt load on federal loans is $19,896, or $10,000 less than the national average.
UB far exceeds the national average for graduation rates. Among public universities, our four-year graduation rate is 53 percent, compared to a national average of 33 percent; our six-year graduation rate is 72 percent, compared to a national average of 57 percent.
UB experienced a record high enrollment of nearly 30,000 students in fall 2014 and awarded 8,742 degrees in 2014-15, representing a 12 percent increase in the number of diplomas granted over the previous year.
Since our founding in 1846, when two Canadians were among the first class of 18 students, a global outlook has formed the core of our heritage and strength as an institution. Today, we have 83 exchange agreements with universities abroad, and are ranked among the nation’s Top 20 universities for the enrollment of international students.  
More than 240,000 UB alumni are making a difference in every state and 146 countries. Among our celebrated graduates are Hollywood’s top talent manager, the co-founder of China’s leading search engine and the chief education/medical officer for NASA’s Astronaut Office.
UB is the leader among its SUNY peers for the largest spending percentage with businesses certified in New York State as Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), having spent more than $17 million in fiscal year 2014-15.
UB and its affiliated entities generated approximately $1.6 billion in revenues from all sources last year, making the university one of the leading economic engines in the state and region.

Our Research and Scholarship

As a premier, research-intensive public university with $386.6 million in annual research expenditures,* UB is committed to supporting the work of our faculty and students, whether they’re scientists, social workers, lawyers or linguists. As the academic health center continued to take shape in downtown Buffalo, we took our research power to the next level by investing $25 million over five years in the Communities of Excellence—a grand vision to amplify UB’s ongoing efforts to solve the challenges facing society, while simultaneously creating new multidisciplinary learning opportunities for students. Here are some additional highlights from the year’s successes in research and scholarship.

*Reported to the NSF, 2013-14 

Wiping out infectious disease

Building on its extensive experience with global HIV research, the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences received a $12 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help ensure the quality of NIH-funded clinical research on the world’s most widespread and stubborn infectious diseases. The seven-year contract renewal will continue the school’s work to provide vital quality assurance for international clinical studies, including antiretroviral strategies, the prevention and eradication of HIV, and developing urgently needed treatments for viral hepatitis, tuberculosis and related diseases.

Powering the U.S. research community

Used worldwide by academia, industry and government, a supercomputing management tool developed in 2010 for the National Science Foundation (NSF) by UB’s Center for Computational Research (CCR) has helped maximize the country’s research supercomputing efficiency over the last decade. Based on that success, this year the NSF awarded the CCR a $9 million, five-year federal grant extension to improve the tool, which was originally designed to monitor the performance of the NSF’s supercomputers and their software programs, and which has since been expanded into an open-source version for global distribution. 

Translating other cultures

An award-winning poet and scholar of the history and rhetoric of science, Douglas Basford received one of 20 coveted National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Translation Fellowships to support his translation of sonnets by the 15th-century Italian poet Domenico di Giovanni. The NEA calls its support of projects like Basford’s “one of the most important ways we can broaden our nation’s perspectives while also making the work of these talented writers and translators more available.”

Total Research Expenditures

Research Expenditures by source of funding


The Ways we support

Donors to UB offered support in various ways for varied purposes in 2014-2015. Their collective generosity encompassed a whirlwind online campaign, private foundation support, faculty philanthropy and more. With each gift, our contributors demonstrated their commitment to excellence in teaching and research, and their understanding that the best public universities have the strongest private support.

Bringing Prosperity Home

The Prentice Family Foundation awarded fellowships to a record class of 34 UB students this year. The Western New York Prosperity Fellowship supports students who are commited to improving the region once they graduate through job creation and economic development. It represents the largest annual gift given to the university, amassing more than $500,000 per year, and advancing a range of career aspirations to further the area's economic growth.

A Record Award for Nursing

The New York City-based Helene Fuld Health Trust Scholarship Fund has committed to a three-year grant of $600,000, the largest private grant ever awarded to the School of Nursing. Established by Dr. Leonhard Felix Fuld and his sister, Florentine, in their mother’s memory, the Fuld Trust Scholarship Fund assists students in the Accelerated Second Degree Baccalaureate Program in Nursing, as they prepare for careers in an increasingly complex health care field.

Class Action

Eight classes of alumni have stepped forward to support a campaign to sponsor signature learning stations in the auditorium of the new downtown building for the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Each class has met the $25,000 threshold for this giving opportunity, helping to launch a new era of medical education, clinical care and research in Buffalo.

A Big Boost for Physics

John Ho, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Physics, and his wife, Martha Leung, wanted to celebrate their long association with UB, as well as enhance future development of the graduate program in physics. The couple expressed their enduring appreciation with an endowed fund supporting graduate students in the department.

Beat-the-clock Fundraising

In just 25 hours, the first Day of Giving smashed its goal of $25,000, raising $80,805 from 454 donors. The fast-paced appeal on June 2-3 was spurred by a $25,000 challenge commitment from the UB Alumni Association board of directors. It drew gifts of all sizes in a campaign that emphasized participation over dollar amount, although one donor gave $10,000. More typical was the alumna who hadn’t given in several years and put a $300 gift on her credit card.

Spurring Global Health and Travel

Roberta (MLS ’74, BA ’70) and George Stevens are passionate about addressing global health issues. They also want to share their love of travel. Half of the couple’s $2 million bequest commitment is earmarked for vision research, especially on macular degeneration, which affects 20 million people worldwide and is prevalent in Roberta’s family. The remainder will support study abroad for students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Solar Endurance Test

The School of Architecture and Planning benefitted from a spirited student-driven crowdfunding campaign to support its entry in the U.S. Department of Energy’s biennial Solar Decathlon competition. Monies raised supported student competitors and went toward the GRoW Home, a 1,100-square-foot solar-powered structure that is vying with entries from 14 other schools in an elite, international competition to create energy-efficient homes of the future.

At a glance

University at Buffalo
The State University of New York

A flagship institution in the State University of New York system, UB is the largest and most comprehensive campus in the 64-campus SUNY system. It is a member of the Association of American Universities.


$386.6 million

Student Body (head count)
> 29,944 (2014-15 academic year)
> 19,829 undergraduate
> 10,115 graduate and professional

Student Body (geographic representation) 
Western New York: 36 percent  (2014-15 academic year)
> Other New York: 38 percent
> Out of state: 3 percent
> International (at WNY campuses): 17 percent
> External (offshore): 6 percent

Degrees Awarded
8,742 (2014-15 academic year)

Degree Programs
More than 100 undergraduate degrees, including combined degrees
> More than 300 graduate and professional degree programs 

6,788 full-time equivalent employees (FY 2014)

2,844 total faculty
> Ratio of undergraduate students to undergraduate instructional faculty: 13 to 1

> More than 240,000 in 146 countries 
> More than 128,000 in New York State

Annual Budget
Operating revenues: $664 million (FY 2014)
> Financial statement revenues: $1.204 billion (FY 2014)

$624.8 million (2013-14)

Division I, Mid-American Conference

Victor E. Bull