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Tripathi addresses voting faculty

President Satish Tripathi addressing the voting faculty

President Satish K. Tripathi addresses faculty at the annual meeting of the voting faculty. Photo: Douglas Levere

By DAVID J. HILL

Published May 8, 2014

SUNY Distinguished Professor ranks, Guggenheim Fellowships and genomic medicine funding were among the highlights of the past year cited by President Satish K. Tripathi during his annual address to the voting faculty on Tuesday.

“This is really a great recognition and would not be possible without the faculty’s work and working together and creating this kind of excellence,” Tripathi told about three-dozen faculty members attending the meeting in the Center for Tomorrow.

“These are some of the things you see happening. It’s not happening because Capen fifth floor is doing a great job. It’s happening because you all have a really good research environment and you are pushing the boundaries and working with each other,” he said.

Among the accomplishments Tripathi cited:

  • Four faculty members received SUNY Distinguished Professor status and one was awarded the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor.
  • Two Guggenheim Fellowship recipients.
  • A $25 million Science and Technology Center grant from National Science Foundation for next-generation crystallography.
  • Four NSF CAREER award recipients.
  • A prestigious national award for Robert Shibley, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning.
  • $50 million in funding from Gov. Andrew Cuomo for genomic medicine research.

“Faculty continue to make progress in their scholarship and research expenditure as well. Last year we increased our research expenditure. We are really working hard in an environment where funding at the national level is flat at best,” Tripathi said.

The president also noted the accomplishments of a handful of students, most notably engineering student Phillip Tucciarone, who won a prestigious Marshall Scholarship. UB also produced two Barry Goldwater Scholarship recipients this year.

President Tripathi speaking with faculty members following his address

President Satish K. Tripathi talks with faculty before the meeting. Photo: Douglas Levere

Tripathi updated the members of the voting faculty on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaccreditation process, which reviews the university’s success in 14 standards ranging from mission and goals to institutional assessment and student retention.

Last September, UB completed a draft self-study report and in October received a preliminary visit from University of Pittsburgh Provost Patricia Beeson, chair of the Middle States team that’s evaluating UB. The full team visited UB in April and then provided both an oral summary and written draft of its findings.

“The Middle States review was very positive overall,” Tripathi said. “I’m happy to say that the report indicated — as well as Dr. Beeson indicated in her oral presentation — that UB clearly met every one of the 14 standards.”

The committee did offer a few recommendations for improvements, such as:

  • Encouraging the university to continue implementing an assessment process so UB can demonstrate improved use of student learning outcomes data.
  • Including in its general education curriculum a component focusing on ethics, something Middle States has placed more emphasis on recently.
  • Ensuring appropriate institutional support for online degree programs.

“As you can see, there’s really nothing in there that’s surprising,” Tripathi said.

He also noted the improvement UB has made in its four-year graduation rate over the past decade. “If you look at the four-year graduation 10 years ago, we went from 34 to almost 50 percent in 10 years. They saw the dramatic change.”

After his 25-minute talk, Tripathi asked if there were any questions from the faculty. None were asked.