University Planning Board

Achieving the goals of our institutional strategic plan─UB 2020─will require that investments in buildings, infrastructure, and other facilities be carefully coordinated with the educational mission and goals of the university. The University Planning Board is charged with directing the strategic and tactical efforts needed to implement Building UB: The Comprehensive Physical Plan.

The board is responsible for the formulation of the vision, policies, processes, projects and funding plans for producing university capital facilities. It creates the faculty-staff project teams responsible for each individual project. It works as a team internally and with external partners to ensure coordination on other capital projects. And it defines the process and metrics for evaluating plan implementation success.

The University Planning Board manages all capital development work conducted by UB, consistent with the policies and processes it establishes. In this role, it also participates as appropriate in the development of capital initiatives with UB-affiliated entities to ensure that those projects are also consistent with the objectives of both UB 2020 and the campus master plan.

These affiliates include the University at Buffalo Foundation, initiatives funded through the Research Foundation of the State University of New York, UB/MD and medical practice plans affiliated with UB, UB Associates, Inc., and the Buffalo 2020 Development Corporation.

The board reports regularly to the president, deans, Faculty Senate and Professional Staff Senate, and collaborates with each as appropriate. The board also reports to and works closely with the University at Buffalo Council and with the governing boards of UB-affiliated entities. 

Staff support to the board is provided by the associate vice president for university facilities, the associate vice president for academic planning and budget and by the campus architect. Many other elements of the university also provide staff support when required to ensure that all aspects of capital asset management are well-coordinated.

The establishment of the University Planning Board manifests a reinvigorated discipline in the development and management of UB’s capital assets. As such, the board will review and recommend to the president one-, three-, and five-year capital plans; approve capital projects greater than $1 million; resolve approaches to capital acquisition, management, finance, budget, partners, and advocacy; and evaluate progress in plan implementation.  

The board’s authority and responsibility to review and recommend approval of capital plans includes state-funded critical maintenance projects; strategic initiatives for campus development; all projects large and small funded through campus-based revenues; and all capital development initiatives funded through UB affiliates.

According to board protocol, all capital projects of at least $1 million or with other significant impacts on the achievement of strategic university objectives will be reviewed and recommended for approval at three stages of project development: when the project is initiated, when the project concept is ready for review and when construction documents are ready for review.

This discipline allows the board to evaluate progress in implementation, including overall progress in realizing the campus master plan, in terms of actual spending versus what was planned, and a range of other project-level performance measures, such as spending to budget, progress to schedule, satisfaction with design quality and projected benefits versus benefits achieved.

University Planning Board protocol also provides a clear roadmap for university units to put forward projects consistent with the campus master plan. At project initiation, deans, vice presidents, and other project sponsors work through board staff to prepare their proposals for board approval and the formation of a project team. At concept review, the board acts to approve program, planning, design and business plan. At final review, the board gives approval to move forward to construction.