Published February 6, 2014
Do you feel fortunate to be a member of the UB faculty or staff?
Scott Weber does, and that’s one of the reasons he gives to the university’s annual fund.
The senior vice provost for academic affairs is chairing an effort to encourage more of his colleagues to join him in giving to the UB annual fund this year.
Weber would like to see UB strengthen its faculty and staff giving rates to better compare with those of its peer Association of American Universities (AAU) members, whose faculty/staff giving rates range from the single digits to 24.3 percent at the University of Virginia.
“Right now, we fall into the bottom third when stacked up against our AAU public peers,” notes Weber, who says the faculty/staff giving rate in fiscal year 2013 was only 5 percent.
Given the sheer numbers of UB employees, Weber is confident the university can improve its giving rate this year.
With such a large faculty and staff — of approximately 9,500 members — UB is its own community, Weber points out, adding “That’s bigger than some townships in Western New York.”
Like every thriving community, UB considers its people as its most valuable asset.
“The faculty and staff drive UB’s momentum and make our university stronger every day,” Weber says, adding that several recent indicators demonstrate how their work has helped make UB a premier research university.
These include UB’s recent rise — to 176 out of 400 — in the Times Education World University Rankings of the world’s top research universities; UB’s selection to lead a statewide effort to accelerate advances in genomic medicine; and the John R. Oishei Foundation awarding $5 million to support construction of the new UB medical school on the downtown Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
“These are just a few of the successful ventures that can be directly linked to hard work by our dedicated faculty and staff, who contribute daily their time and talents,” Weber says.
The annual fund contributes to many UB-wide initiatives, as well as to academic programs and scholarships to help students complete their college educations, he says.
“Enrollment data shows us how important scholarships are to families; they often are the deal-breakers for students deciding which university to attend,” he notes. “The annual fund also helps students with sudden financial trouble stay in school.”
Weber understands that giving to UB is “a personal choice” for each faculty and staff member, but adds that some don’t give because they haven’t been asked to.
“That’s why I’m asking all UB faculty and staff to join me this year and make a gift — in any amount — to the annual fund,” he saya. “Your gifts will help us keep our university strong and competitive.”
He adds that anyone can designate where their gift is used at UB by visiting the Giving to UB website for the list of schools, departments and programs the annual fund supports.
The important thing is to make a gift, he says.
“UB has given me a supportive community in which I have pursued my career. The annual fund is a chance to give something back. I hope the UB community will join me.”