In response to NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant initiative in 2011, the University at Buffalo created a strategic investment plan to invest in and expand academics and research, need- based aid, and faculty and researchers. Fueled by NYSUNY 2020, the plan was leveraged by capital funding, a rational tuition policy, and the Academic Excellence and Success Fee (AESF).
The Academic Excellence and Success Fee program provides the crucial margin of resources that enabled the full realization of UB’s NYSUNY 2020 academic strategy.
The first element of this strategy focused on the expansion of interdisciplinary faculty teams that provide new, relevant educational programs for UB students and that build UB’s competitiveness in attracting new research support to the university. This research support provides opportunities for graduate student research and an improved standing for UB in the national and international research community.
Second, UB NYSUNY 2020 built educational capacity at UB. With the addition of faculty, UB now offers more course sections in high-demand course areas. We also provide the advising, technical and facilities infrastructures that ensure more timely attainment of every student’s degree objective and a higher quality educational experience. UB has concentrated the investment of Academic Excellence and Success Fee revenue to build these infrastructures for our students.
With this research and educational paradigm provided in part by the Academic Excellence and Success Fee, UB is steadily expanding our stature, renown and impact. The world’s best and brightest faculty are increasingly coming to UB because they desire to be part of the cutting-edge research discoveries and breakthroughs. At the same time, UB’s transformational education is preparing our students to face the challenges confronting our world and to become the future leaders in their professions and communities. UB is steadily attracting more high-caliber students who are drawn by the unique opportunity to work directly with faculty at the forefront of their fields. For our graduates, the investments made with Academic Excellence and Success Fee revenue only further strengthens the value and distinction of a UB degree now and in years to come.
The Academic Excellence and Success Fee seeks to support innovative university initiatives that accelerate UB’s efforts to be recognized as one of the leading public research universities in the nation by strategic investments to support our faculty, students, staff and the entire academic enterprise.
At a time when higher education is engaged in a national conversation about how to advance interdisciplinary collaboration and impact in research and how PhD programs can best prepare students to be leaders across a wide range of careers and professions, UB’s PhD Excellence Initiative seeks to ensure that our PhD programs remain among the strongest in the world.
The PhD Excellence Initiative is a campus-wide, student-centric effort that is focused on examining issues related to PhD programs at UB also including:
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Is the Academic Excellence and Success Fee part of the Comprehensive Fee?
The Academic Excellence and Success Fee is not a part of the “bundled” Comprehensive Fee, however is considered a “broad-based fee.” Broad based fees are generally charged to all enrolled students to finance discrete activities that benefit the student body, excluding those activities that are a part of the core instructional program.
Is this fee included in the Broad-based Fee Student Consultation?
Yes. During the student consultation, there are many ways to become involved (MyUB, survey, Facebook, and your student representatives). Students have the opportunity to express thoughts regarding any of the broad-based fees at any time.
In the formative year of the UB NYSUNY 2020 program, multiple correspondences were sent to students in fall semester billing communications that announced the AESF program and its linkage to the larger NYSUNY 2020 program. The Vice President for University Life and Services and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education held an extended forum with student leaders in early December of 2011 to discuss UB NYSUNY 2020 and the Academic Excellence and Success Fee. The input from that meeting was that student leaders actively engaged in the discussion were supportive of the UB NYSUNY 2020 approach and encouraged continual, active dialogue with students in constructing future plans for tuition and fee revenue use. For UB students, the AESF was first charged in 2011 at an annual rate of $75 and was increase by $75 annually through 2015-16.