Progress Briefs

UB 2020 Accomplishments

The UB 2020 strategic vision has had a transformative effect on the university. Through it, the university has enhanced academic opportunities and experiences for students, advanced ideas and discoveries that improve the lives of people throughout the world, and increased UB’s positive impact on our region and New York State.

Not just a vision, but our reality, UB 2020 has guided the hiring of faculty throughout the university, the construction of new academic facilities, a strengthening of UB’s  research and scholarly activities, and the development of a Downtown Campus in Buffalo’s urban core.

UB 2020 is revitalizing our campuses, our communities and our engagement with the world.

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Inclusive, yearlong process led to new brand strategy

During the 12-month, four-phase identity and branding strategy, UB embarked upon an inclusive, university-wide initiative to answer the questions of who and what is the University at Buffalo. In essence, we took a deep dive into discovering what makes the university distinctive as experienced and defined by those who know us best—our students, past and present, and their parents; faculty and staff; those who support us philanthropically; and those with whom we partner in our communities.

‘Finish in 4’ helps students realize dream of college degree

In 2012, UB launched Finish in 4, an innovative program that pledges to give freshmen the resources to graduate within four years. That investment is now paying off: Many of the first students to enroll in the program earned their degrees in May 2016, graduating at a far higher rate than peers around the country.

Graduation rates for black students increase at UB, new study finds

A new national study by The Education Trust cited UB among the universities that stand out for improving overall graduation rates while also achieving significant gains for black students during the last decade. “Among this group of colleges making gains for black students the University at Buffalo is an exemplar,” the report said.

Nearly a third of UB medical school students will remain in Buffalo for residency

Nearly a third of the UB’s fourth-year medical students will stay in Buffalo for their residencies, suggesting that graduates of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB are increasingly looking to remain in the region to complete their medical training.

Christian, Jackson pledge $1 million bequest to support creative arts students

UB faculty members Diane Christian and Bruce Jackson are widely known for having multifaceted careers. They recently added a new role to their lengthy résumés: that of philanthropists. The pair has pledged a $1 million bequest commitment to support students of creative and performing arts at UB.

Medical school milestone: UB holds beam-signing and topping out ceremony

The new home of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB has reached a major construction milestone. “Putting the final beams into place for the new medical school building signals the successful completion of the steel construction phase of what is an extraordinary project for the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the university and the city of Buffalo,” said President Satish K. Tripathi.

Banner year for UB-related startups

“The University at Buffalo’s commitment to supporting and nurturing business-savvy students, faculty and entrepreneurs who are creating exciting new products to boost economic development and improve quality of life in Western New York and beyond is exemplified by the many successes our related companies had in 2015,” says Venu Govindaraju, vice president for research and economic development.

NYSERDA recognizes UB among higher ed leaders in N.Y.

UB was recognized on consecutive days this week as a sustainability leader in higher education. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on April 26 named UB one of 16 “Leaders” among REV Campus Challenge First Movers. The REV Campus Challenge is part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), a strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.


UB invests $25 million to address pressing societal problems

UB is investing $25 million in an initiative that will harness the strengths of faculty from disciplines across the university to confront grand challenges facing humankind. The university announced today the establishment of three new Communities of Excellence—an innovative and integrated approach to addressing critical societal challenges through impactful interdisciplinary research, education and engagement.

New initiative to connect, engage students with arts and arts community

A new, pioneering arts initiative will bring to UB world-class creative and performing artists for on-campus residencies exploring creative expression in innovative ways that reach beyond studios and performance spaces and into all aspects of the university and Western New York community. It will involve students, faculty and audiences both on and off campus in exhibitions, performances, public conversations and new course development.

NIH awards UB $16 million clinical and translational science grant

UB has been awarded a prestigious four-year, $16 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to speed the delivery of new drugs, diagnostics and medical devices to patients.

Jacobs family makes historic $30 million gift to medical school

Jeremy M. Jacobs, his wife, Margaret, and their family have given $30 million to the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, a historic gift as the school undergoes an ambitious period of expansion that will enable it to pursue innovative medical education, research and patient care.

Revised gen ed program gets new name, focus

It’s full steam ahead for UB’s new general education program as the university moves fully into the implementation phase of a new curriculum designed to enrich students’ educational experience and help prepare them to succeed in today’s world.

Zimpher cites UB’s ‘Finish in 4’ as best practice

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher highlighted a number of initiatives that she said deserve further investment in order to expand them to all SUNY campuses. One of these initiatives, UB’s Finish in 4 program, provides students with a roadmap to on-time graduation. Since Finish in 4 was started in 2012, 49 percent of UB’s freshmen have enrolled in the program. The program is an important part of the university’s commitment to improving student retention and graduation rates.

UB goes for sustainability gold

With the submission of an exhaustive report outlining its sustainability efforts, UB has been certified “gold” as part of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, or STARS.

EPA recognizes UB for commitment to sustainability

UB’s commitment to solving pressing environmental issues, educating students about these challenges and operating eco-friendly campuses has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency recently presented the university with two honors, including the only Environmental Champion Award given to an institute of higher learning in New York in 2015.


Oishei Foundation gives $5 million to UB for School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building

UB plans to equip the new building with the best medical technologies, labs and classrooms to be used in the education of physicians.

UB launches RENEW Institute (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water)

One of UB's most expansive initiatives, RENEW is a university-wide interdisciplinary research institute that will focus on the most difficult and complex environmental issues.

UB to co-lead state efforts to position New York as national leader in genome research

UB was selected because of its expertise in high performance computing, combined with recognized leadership in genomics and medical research.

UB launches Department of Materials Design and Innovation

UB has launched the Department of Materials Design and Innovation (MDI), a forward-leaning, interdisciplinary initiative that will address regional and national demand for new materials that accelerate research and education in advanced manufacturing and biotechnology.

Construction to begin on Heart of the Campus

The Heart of the Campus, the UB 2020 initiative to enhance the student learning experience by creating a “learning landscape” in the center of the academic spine, is set to begin this month with the start of renovation work in Capen Hall. A priority identified in UB’s campus master plan for its three campuses, the project aims to create a “heart of the campus” in which classrooms, study spaces, computer labs, library facilities and dining services provide “a continuous environment” that supports the learning process.  

Faculty Senate approves gen ed curriculum

The undergraduate core curriculum at UB will undergo its first overhaul in two decades after the Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new general education program that’s been several years in the making.

UB expanding opportunities for experiential learning

It’s an exciting time to be a student at UB, largely because the university has expanded its commitment to experiential learning opportunities for its students. Across the university we’re seeing the development of amazing opportunities for students to explore different cultures and make connections with faculty, alumni and fellow students while contemplating their impact within the larger world.  

Miller named first vice provost for equity and inclusion

Law professor Teresa A. Miller will lead UB’s continuing efforts to build a culture of equity, diversity and inclusiveness as the university’s first vice provost for equity and inclusion.

Campus News HUD recognizes UB for downtown community outreach programs

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has cited UB as a national best practice for its community outreach efforts in neighborhoods around the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC).


Top physicians, faculty recruited to UB

In the past five years, the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has recruited nine new department chairs; over the next five years, UB plans to hire a total of 250 new faculty across all academic units.

UB cracks top 10 for least student debt in U.S. News ranking

U.S. News & World Report ranked UB third among public universities.

EOC opens new downtown home, renewing commitment to underserved students

The move of UB's Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) will allow UB to take a greater role in serving Buffalo’s downtown community.

UB enrolls the largest number of international students in its history

International students make up 17 percent of UB’s student body and have contributed $108 billion to the local economy.

UB Undergraduate Academies offer Global Scholar Program

UB's Undergraduate Academies now give students in any discipline the opportunity to qualify for a global scholar transcript notation.

UB Community Relations office opens in Downtown Gateway

UB's Community Relations office communicates with people who live and work near the Downtown Campus.


UB builds its vision of excellence

UB is transformed by an unprecedented amount of new building. From Greiner residence hall to the Solar Strand, UB has opened four major new buildings across its three campuses.

Finish in Four

UB's Finish in Four pledges to provide entering UB freshmen with the new academic resources they need to graduate in four years.

UB welcomes 85 new faculty

For some of UB's newest hires, their positions were made possible by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NYSUNY 2020 bill.

Kaleida and UB open Gates Vascular Institute/CTRC

Through UB and Kaleida collaboration, the new Gates Vascular Institute/Clinical & Translational Research Center (CTRC) will deliver state-of-the-art clinical care, produce medical breakthroughs and spin off biotech businesses.

UB dedicates new $75 million School of Engineering Building: Barbara and Jack Davis Hall

UB's new Davis Hall will enable UB to expand research in nanotechnology, pattern recognition, bio-based security systems and other fields.

Crossroads Culinary Center Opens

The opening of the Crossroads Culinary Center puts UB at the forefront of the collegiate dining experience.

UB Pharmacy opening of Kapoor Hall

UB’s second-oldest entity, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is the first professional school in three decades to return to the City of Buffalo.

Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) moves to downtown Gateway

The CEL promotes business growth through leadership development and experiential learning.

New Undergraduate Academies spotlight entrepreneurship, sustainability

These academies are living and learning communities that enable students with common interests to share meaningful experiences throughout their college years.


Passage of NYSUNY 2020 legislation is major achievement for UB 2020

President Tripathi praised the passage of Gov. Cuomo’s bill as a major accomplishment in the pursuit of academic excellence.

Investiture of Satish K. Tripathi and his inaugural address

“As UB builds its excellence, we will build stronger, healthier communities, here at home, across the state and around the globe. We will attract more of the best faculty—and the brightest students, strengthening our university across the disciplines. We will advance UB’s reputation as an international center of excellence in research, education and innovation. And as a result, we will raise Buffalo’s stature in the eyes of the world.”

Editor’s note

In 2019, the SUNY Board of Trustees revoked the naming of John and Editha Kapoor Hall as well as John Kapoor's honorary degree. More information is available in the university’s News Center.