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2013 Fall Welcome

Published September 20, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the start of the 2013 academic year! Fall is always a particularly exciting time on campus as we look forward to a new year of accomplishment at UB. 

We are a global university, attracting exceptional students and delivering extraordinary education and scholarship. This fall we welcome our largest total enrollment (29,940), including the largest number of undergraduate, graduate and international students in our history.  The quality, value and reputation of our academic programs are reflected in increased demand for the educational experiences offered by UB.

We are very pleased to welcome over 145 new full-time faculty members to our campus community.  This represents the largest number of new tenure-track faculty to join UB in over ten years and places us well on our way to achieving our goal of hiring 250 new faculty members by 2016.  We welcome our new faculty colleagues with enthusiasm and pride. 

Several of our outstanding faculty members have received well-deserved national and international attention this past year.  UB faculty members have been recognized with prestigious fellowships and grants from organizations ranging from the Guggenheim Foundation to the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Radcliffe Institute to the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.  They have been named fellows at SPIE – an international society for optics and photonics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Mathematical Society, and the Geology Society of America to cite a few. In short, at UB our mission is to have extraordinary impact.  This last year shows that we continue to deliver on this expectation. 

We are realizing UB 2020, and our expectations have never been higher.  Last year we undertook President Tripathi’s charge to develop an implementation process for UB 2020.  This involved an astonishing level of participation and engagement from the campus community. Due to the scale and breadth of the UB 2020 activities we are undertaking, we determined the need to form groups focused on topics related to Realizing UB 2020 initiatives. Over the summer, we established task forces focused on curriculum and assessment, research and innovation, the student experience, engagement, alumni engagement and philanthropy, advocacy, and infrastructure.  For each, we have identified a leader, a membership representing key perspectives from across the university, a charge and specific deliverables.  This semester, these task forces will develop recommendations related to priorities, cost, timelines, and implementation strategies for the initiatives outlined in Realizing UB 2020.  These task forces are critical for ensuring that the specific changes that we make will be deliberate, targeted, and beneficial for the entire campus community.  More information regarding the task forces is available at Realizing UB 2020 .

As part of Realizing UB 2020, this year we will define standards for measuring our future excellence and accomplishment. Each academic department will be asked to define their expectations for teaching, research, and service.  I look forward to sharing our measures of excellence and striving to meet the high standards we will set together. 

The faculty and staff at the University at Buffalo are responsible for moving the institution to greater levels of excellence and for that, I thank you.  Last year, you were integral to the drafting process of our current Realizing UB 2020 plan. After the success and level of feedback we received at forums last spring, I plan to host open forums this fall to seek ideas and advice from the campus community as we continue to realize our UB 2020 aspirations.  I look forward to continuing to work with all of you as we create UB’s future.

 

Best,

 

Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs