Initiatives

“What’s next?” This is the question that drives us each day, as we strive to provide the new experiences, programs and resources that will meet the ever-changing needs of our diverse student body.

On this page:

Academic Integrity

For a number of years, there has been general dissatisfaction with the current academic integrity policy and its implementation at UB.  The dissatisfaction results primarily from two issues:

  1. The current policy is legalistic and bureaucratic, which can frustrate and disincentives consistent faculty and student participation; and
  2. There is potential for inconsistency in the execution of the policy. 

To address this concern a university-wide Committee on Academic Integrity was convened in early 2016 to evaluate the current climate and make recommendations for improvement. These have resulted in a recent report that has been presented to the Faculty Senate for their review and endorsement. Basic recommendations included in the report included:

  1. The adoption of a more streamlined and understandable policy,
  2. Establishment of an Office of Academic Integrity responsible for proactive education and enforcement, and
  3. A process for enforcement that would follow a model similar to student conduct and advocacy that relies much more heavily on student participation than our current approach.  

As of May 2017, the Faculty Senate has endorsed the report from the Committee on Academic Integrity and asked for an expeditious review by the Faculty Senate Committee on Policy and Grading so that the full senate may consider any revisions to the university policies by this fall.  Furthermore, the initiative has received funding to establish the Office of Academic Integrity as a resource to faculty and students and implement any policy revisions as they are approved.

Experiential Learning

The university is committed to providing students with opportunities to customize and enhance their college career.  We recognize that you learn by doing, and UB provides learning opportunities that connect students to their interests while bridging with their academics. These opportunities span all majors and are offered in many forms including research, internships, and community service. Experiential learning is learning fostered by reflection, and is available to all students while also engaging faculty, staff, and community partners who are dedicated to the intentional and guided educational experiences offered to students. Experiential learning compliments the university’s mission to research, educate, and serve by offering opportunities that will prepare students for their professional careers and provide those skills to continually contribute to their communities in a world that is ever-changing.

First Destination Survey

Student Life’s office of Assessment and Evaluation, in collaboration with Career Services and decanal units across the university, oversees the collection of undergraduate outcomes data via the annual First Destination Survey. At the program and unit levels, this valid and reliable outcome data related to employment, graduate school attendance, funding, salaries and employers is essential when recruiting new students, helping students decide on a major and connecting with internships and other experiential learning opportunities.  University-wide data is used for recruitment, public relations purposes, for reporting to SUNY and the federal government and for tracking alumni for developmental purposes.

First Year Experience

The First Year Experience is the collaborative effort between Academic affairs and Student Life to create a strategic plan to enhance the student experience with a goal of integrating the university’s pre-existing assets with new programs and services. The joint effort will serve as a tool for ensuring student success, and highlighting the benefits to be gained from improved interaction between the many high-quality programs and services UB already provides for first-year and transitioning students.

Global Market Café

In partnership with the university, and with the approval of the Capital Planning Board, Campus Dinning and Shops intends to design and build a new dining experience as part of UB’s overall Heart of the Campus (HOTC) initiative. The Global Market Café is envisioned to create a new and exciting dining environment consistent with the university’s aspirations. Located in the center of campus (Capen and Norton Halls), the dining facility will serve students, faculty, and staff. It is expected to open spring 2020.  Charged with guiding and advising on all phases of the Global Market Café project, including Request for Qualifications (RFQ) review, architect selection, conceptual design and naming/branding of the facility, a Global Market Café planning team began their work in May 2017.  Graham Hammill, Vice Provost of Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School is leading the planning team. The committee will support project phases including RFQ review, consultant, and review of findings and recommendations.  Study conclusions are expected to be finalized in the 17/18 academic year.

Student Housing Master Plan

Starting in summer 2017, the University of Buffalo is initiating a comprehensive student housing master plan across its three campuses.  We are committed to better understanding the most appropriate and efficient use of all current and future campus student living space.  The need to provide a memorable UB living experience for our students during their education is a fundamental aspect of the UB student experience.  As such, UB will seek proposals for a student housing master plan study that will:

  1. Assess our existing conditions
  2. Study the market realities of our area
  3. Develop a strategic vision for student housing; and
  4. Make recommendations on future steps. 

To operationalize this effort a committee has been formed under the leadership of Tonga Pham, Associate Vice President for Facilities.

Student Union Master Plan

As Student Life evolves its programs to meet changing student needs, so should the university’s Student Unions, where many of these programs are housed and/or conducted.  Starting in fall 2017, Student Life will retain the services of a nationally recognized firm to perform a master plan for future use of the North Campus Student Union and Harriman Hall on the South Campus. 

Completed Initiatives

1Capen and 1Diefendorf

As part of the university’s Heart of the Campus Initiative (HOTC) and through collaboration across divisional hierarchies, 1Capen and 1Diefendorf were designed with the goal of providing integrated student services in support of our students’ success. 1Capen will welcome students, parents, faculty/staff and visitors on the ground floor of Capen Hall. 1Diefendorf is strategically placed in the core of our South Campus, adjacent to Abbott Library in Diefendorf Hall. The service centers represent models of service integration, continuous improvement of processes, diminishing silos, all in efforts to positively impact students’ experience with service on campus. Both centers began welcoming students during the fall 2017 semester.

Counseling, Health and Wellness

As part of an overall restructuring of Student Life announced in May 2017, the departments of Counseling Services, Student Health Services, and Wellness Education Services will coordinate and align their activities across campus through the creation of the office of Counseling, Health and Wellness.  This office will provide strategic vision, leadership, advocacy for, and management of these three critical departments within Student Life.  The office will work to ensure that the University at Buffalo is adopting effective, ethical, culturally appropriate, and research-based counseling, health and wellness policies, programs and services that help to create a resilient campus culture at both the individual and community level. The office also will ensure that clinical and prevention services are coordinated and integrated as appropriate.  In conjunction with unit directors, the office will develop and assess learning outcomes for programs and services.  The leadership of this office will also be responsible for regulatory compliance for all programs and services.