Impactful research, scholarly distinction, transformative student experiences, and far-reaching service to local, state, national, and international communities define the University at Buffalo’s (UB) mission as one of the nation’s leading public research universities. A member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the largest and most comprehensive public research university in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, UB is an internationally renowned university. UB enrolls approximately 32,000 students (approximately two-thirds undergraduate and one-third graduate and professional students), and offers more than 400 degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, professional, and doctoral levels across its 12 decanal units. UB is a global community of scholars, consistently ranking among the nation’s top 30 universities for the enrollment of international students. The university has a distinguished faculty of approximately 1,700 full-time and 750 part time members and is home to more than 100 research centers and institutes; its current annual research expenditures, including those in affiliated institutions, exceed $412 million.
Reporting to the president, the vice president for student life oversees the UB student experience dedicated to providing students with the support and resources they need to thrive at the university and as citizens of the world. The VPSL provides leadership for the highly specialized student and campus service departments within student life including accessibility resources; Blackstone LaunchPad; campus living; campus dining and shops; career services; counseling services; club sports, health promotion; health services; intercultural and diversity center; orientation, transition and parent services; student conduct and advocacy; student engagement; student union; and veteran services. Student life also includes administrative support units for administration and planning, assessment and research, and marketing and communications. As a member of the president’s cabinet the VPSL works with the president, provost, deans and other senior leaders to advance the university’s mission of excellence and to oversee the many UB programs that help provide a transformative student experience. The VPSL provides leadership for a staff of 340 and oversees a $105 million annual budget.
For the purpose of having greater impact locally and globally, UB is intent on being recognized a top-25 public research university. A critical factor to achieve this goal will be improving persistence and graduation rates, specifically retention of first-year students. President Tripathi is placing significant emphasis on student success across the institution. Student life will play a critical role in these efforts. UB values entrepreneurship and collaboration in their commitment to increase student success.
Additional opportunities and challenges for the vice president for student life will include:
The following items will define the new vice president’s success over the first few years of employment:
An advanced degree in a relevant discipline and extensive experience in higher education academic and student life are required. A doctorate is preferred. The ideal candidate will possess demonstrated experience and leadership skills in a complex, demanding and fast-paced environment, ideally at a research-intensive university; experience, maturity and high engagement skills to effectively collaborate with university leadership, faculty, staff and students; experience in planning, implementing or leading new student life initiatives or programs; proven ability to lead and manage a large and high-functioning student life program, including the capacity to generate and implement clear goals, procedures, systems and priorities across different teams; and a demonstrated commitment to diversity and excellence through inclusion.
Additionally, the following characteristics and attributes were identified by various UB stakeholders and informally shared with Spelman Johnson when considering the position of vice president for student life:
The mission of the UB Office of Student Life is to create experiences and opportunities that enhance student’s learning and personal growth. Student Life provides resources that enrich the lives of students, augments their connection to the UB community, and prepares them for life after graduation. The Office of Student Life has identified five strategic priorities to achieve for UB students:
The highly specialized departments within Student Life work together to share insights, build on best practices and provide an expansive array of student-focused services. Additional assistance comes from administrative support units that offer critical resources.
One World Café is a new and exciting dining center that will reflect the university’s determination, vision and pride. Located in the center of campus, between Capen and Norton Halls, the facility will serve students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors.
In partnership with the university, and with the approval of the capital planning board, campus dining and shops is bringing a new dining experience to life as part of UB’s overall Heart of the Campus (HOTC) initiative.
Designed by the UB community, for the UB community, the new dining center is scheduled to open in the spring of 2022. The three-story, 53,500-square-foot facility will feature:
As part of the One World Café planning team, student life has played an integral role in all phases of the One World Café project, including conceptual design and naming/branding of the facility.
Student life retained 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.
A comprehensive student housing master plan across its three campuses is underway 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 students during their education is a fundamental aspect of the UB student experience. The housing master plan study will:
As UB seeks to advance the health and wellness of students, faculty and staff by creating a unified approach to recreation, health and wellness.
This task force is working to develop a set of recommendations that enhance the student experience through flexible facilities and holistic programmatic offerings integrating recreation, counseling, health and wellness component services.
Working together with a consulting firm, this committee is assessing existing indoor/outdoor campus recreation conditions, conducting a needs analysis with stakeholder input, developing a strategic vision for wellness and recreation to serve all three campuses and reviewing funding realities.
The outcome will drive an innovative, environmentally conscious recommendation that supports creating a unified operational model, which will allow the various programs to meet their individual needs while supporting the overall institutional mission.
Impactful research, scholarly distinction, transformative student experiences, and far-reaching service to local, state, national, and international communities define UB’s mission as one of the nation’s leading public research universities. UB was founded in 1846 as a private medical college located in downtown Buffalo and joined the SUNY network in 1962. SUNY is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, comprising 64 campuses with a total enrollment of approximately 424,000 students, and UB is the largest and most comprehensive public research university within the system. In 1989, UB was among the first public universities in the Northeast to be admitted into the AAU. Over the years, UB’s scope and mission have expanded significantly as it has grown into a world-renowned research university that is the thriving heart of the regional community, a national leader in public higher education, and a global hub for excellence in research and education.
UB enrolls approximately 32,000 students (approximately two-thirds undergraduate and one-third graduate and professional students), and offers more than 400 degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, professional, and doctoral levels across its 12 decanal units. UB is a global community of scholars, consistently ranking among the nation’s top 30 universities for the enrollment of international students. The university enjoys a strong presence abroad, maintaining affiliation agreements with 80 universities in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa. Currently, UB’s more than 273,000 alumni live in 150 countries worldwide.
UB has a distinguished faculty of approximately 1,700 full-time and 750 part time members. UB is home to more than 100 research centers and institutes; its current annual research expenditures, including those in affiliated institutions, exceed $400 million. The Libraries hold more than four million volumes in eight libraries and provide access to and an exceptionally wide array of digital information resources.
UB’s academic programs and facilities are located on three distinct campuses in the Buffalo metropolitan area.
Recognizing the key role that a vibrant 21st-century physical campus environment plays in enhancing education, research, and learning, UB is realizing a long-range Master Plan for enhancing its North, South, and Downtown campus spaces and connecting them more effectively to their surrounding communities.
With annual revenues of $1.3 billion from all sources, UB and its affiliated entities generate an estimated economic impact of $1.7 billion annually in New York State. The university’s total workforce of approximately 6,000 full-time equivalent employees makes it one of the region’s largest employers. UB is also a leader and an active partner with the more than 20 public and private colleges and universities in the Buffalo-Niagara region.
UB’s North Campus, where most of the university’s undergraduate academic programs are offered, is located in suburban Amherst. Opened in the early 1970s, it is the largest of our three campuses. Its 128 buildings include state-of-the-art academic and research spaces, student residence halls and apartments, the student union, athletic venues and administrative offices. Complementing the built environment are abundant green spaces, Lake LaSalle and Letchworth Woods.
UB’s South Campus on Main Street is a Western New York landmark dating back to the 1920s. Situated in a residential neighborhood in the City of Buffalo, the 153-acre parcel is home to classic ivy-covered buildings, as well as residence halls and cutting-edge research and teaching facilities. The schools of architecture and planning, pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, social work, dental medicine, public health and health professions, and nursing are located here.
The pillar of our growing downtown campus is the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which moved there in 2017 following construction of a state-of-the-art building at Main and High streets. Most of our other downtown campus entities are also located on or near Buffalo’s medical corridor, a lively hub of clinical care, research, and entrepreneurship in the heart of the city. They include the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, and the Clinical and Translational Research Center, Educational Opportunity Center.
The State University of New York (SUNY) is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive state university system, consisting of 64 campuses including major research universities, health science centers, comprehensive and technical colleges, and community colleges, all committed to providing a broad range of outstanding academic programs for students within New York and from around the world. The University at Buffalo is one of four research centers in the SUNY system, along with the University at Albany, Binghamton University and the University at Stony Brook.
Dr. Jim Malatras was appointed the 14th Chancellor of SUNY in August 2020. The SUNY system serves more than 1.3 million students annually, employs more than 90,000 faculty and staff, and connects more than three million alumni around the world.
As a world-renowned research university, UB’s intellectual capital and innovation are playing a vital role in Buffalo’s resurgence as a thriving city that is a magnet for talented professionals, artists, entrepreneurs, and innovators who recognize the tremendous energy and momentum gathering here. Home to one of the nation’s fastest growing populations of college graduates, the Buffalo-Niagara region, with 1.1 million residents, is the state’s second largest major metropolitan area, exceeded only by New York City. The region includes a diverse blend of communities, each with its own distinct personality, yet commonly characterized by a distinctly neighborly way of life, an unpretentious nature and spirited loyalty among residents. Buffalo’s own strong sense of community, easy lifestyle, and affordability regularly place it in top ten lists from a variety of national publications for its overall quality of life.
Buffalo offers an impressive array of cultural and recreational opportunities uncommon for a region of its size. Buffalo’s rich cultural resources reflect its distinguished history and commitment to sustaining the arts, including the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; the world-class collection of modern painting and sculpture at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; an extensive array of historic architectural treasures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan, and Eero and Eliel Saarinen; and an expansive park system (including Delaware Park), considered to be the very best work of designer Frederick Law Olmsted. The city is home to the state’s largest concentration of theaters outside of New York City. Buffalo is a family friendly, livable and affordable city, with Niagara Falls, one of the major tourist attractions of the world, a short drive away. Buffalo is close to two significant wine growing regions—Niagara Escarpment and the Finger Lakes region. In addition, the Adirondack Mountains are a half-day’s drive from Buffalo.
Rich in natural resources and beauty, the Buffalo-Niagara area is a four-season region that offers the best for seasonal sports enthusiasts. University at Buffalo fans enjoy a full complement of an NCAA Division I FBS institution sponsoring sixteen sports while participating in the Mid-American Conference with the UB Bulls, as well as the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Triple-A baseball’s Buffalo Bisons, and the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits.
Less than a two-hour drive from Buffalo across the United States-Canada border is Toronto, the cultural, entertainment, and financial capital of Canada. Buffalo is also ideally located for easy access to many of America’s greatest cities. The Buffalo-Niagara International Airport offers direct flights to more than 20 cities, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington, DC, all only an hour’s flight away.
Buffalo’s resurgence is making national headlines, and UB is playing a central role in the creation of a strong, sustainable knowledge economy and thriving entrepreneurial culture that are driving this revitalization. Exemplified and driven by the centrally located Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and UB’s new facility that is home to the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo is experiencing a period of tremendous progress and momentum as well as unprecedented regional investments in the industries of the future and in the assets that ensure a satisfying quality of life for all its citizens.
The University at Buffalo is a diverse, inclusive scholarly community dedicated to bringing the benefits of our research, scholarship, creative activities and educational excellence to local and global communities in ways that impact and positively change the world.
We view the three traditional pillars of the public higher education mission—research, education and service—as interdependent endeavors that continually enrich and inform each other. Groundbreaking research, transformative educational experiences and deeply engaged service to our communities define the University at Buffalo’s mission as a premier, research-intensive public university.
Building on the existing strong foundation of academic excellence, knowledge and understanding, the University at Buffalo will advance into the nation's Top 25 public research universities, thereby expanding the scope of our reach and strengthening UB's world-wide impact.
University’s Overarching Strategic Goal is to “rise in the ranks of the AAU and situate UB in the nation’s Top 25 public research universities in the next decade, thereby expanding the scope of its reach and the strength of our university’s worldwide impact.”
Internationally recognized as an accomplished researcher and transformative higher education leader, Dr. Satish K. Tripathi was appointed the 15th president of the University at Buffalo on April 18, 2011.
The first international-born president in UB’s history, Dr. Tripathi graduated at the top of his class from Banaras Hindu University in India and holds a doctorate in computer science from the University of Toronto, as well as three master’s degrees—one in computer science from the University of Toronto and two in statistics from the University of Alberta and Banaras Hindu University. A fellow of the IEEE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he was awarded honorary doctorates from the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, and Brock University in Canada.
In 1978, Dr. Tripathi joined the faculty of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, where his 19-year tenure included serving as chair from 1988-95. While on sabbatical at the University of Maryland, he also held visiting professorships at the University of Paris-Sud in France and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. From 1997-2004, Dr. Tripathi served as dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California-Riverside, where he nearly quadrupled the number of students and tripled the number of faculty at that institution and led its rise from an unranked program to a position in the upper half of the U.S. News and World Report Best Engineering Graduate Schools rankings.
Dr. Tripathi joined the University at Buffalo in 2004, serving as UB’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs until his appointment as president in 2011. As Provost, Dr. Tripathi led the recruitment of many prominent faculty to the university and oversaw a significant increase in the number of faculty hired to develop and enhance strengths in key areas of research and scholarly activity. As a result, the university achieved substantial increases in research expenditures and federally awarded research grants, putting UB in league with the top national research universities in the United States. Under Dr. Tripathi’s leadership, the academic profile of UB’s undergraduate and graduate students also has improved significantly. He led a number of efforts to enrich the educational experiences of UB undergraduate students by introducing programs designed to provide them with opportunities to engage in learning and research with UB’s top faculty. He also oversaw the development of innovative “living-learning environments” constructed as part of “Building UB,” the university’s comprehensive physical plan.
Dr. Tripathi led a strategic planning process for UB’s international programs that has led to significant expansion of the university’s international presence and the continued globalization of its three Western New York campuses. He signed a memorandum of understanding in 2005 with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to establish the Indo-U.S. Inter-University Collaborative Initiative in Higher Education and Research, which has led to a significant partnership between UB and Amrita University. UB’s educational programs in Singapore, in partnership with the Singapore Institute of Management, also have experienced significant growth under Dr. Tripathi’s leadership.
Dr. Tripathi was one of the principal creators of the UB 2020 long-range academic plan, and has led the university to achieve significant growth in research and scholarly activity, enhanced student quality and diversity, and an expanded international presence. Building on this strong foundation, Dr. Tripathi’s vision for UB’s future focuses on moving the university into the highest ranks of the nation’s leading research universities through expanding its reach and impact locally as well as globally.
The University at Buffalo continues to experience a remarkable era of growth, progress, and innovation under Dr. Tripathi’s leadership as president. Within his first year as president, the university celebrated a number of major milestones, including the passage of the NYSUNY 2020 legislation that led to historic reforms for UB and the SUNY system of public higher education as a whole. Since Dr. Tripathi assumed the presidency in 2011, the university has also opened six major building projects on its three campuses—including the new $375 million building for the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus that is positioned as the hub of a thriving life sciences community in Buffalo, and celebrated a $40 million bequest that is the largest gift in university history. The university also received designation of a New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics, positioning the university at the forefront of the rapidly expanding field of advanced materials.
An active leader in the national higher education community, Dr. Tripathi is chair of the Mid-American Conference Council of Presidents and serves on the boards of the NCAA Division I, NCAA Board of Governors, College Football Playoff Board of Managers and Internet2. He has also served on the board of directors for the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as an inaugural co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council in 2011, he served in that position until 2017.
Internationally recognized as an accomplished researcher and transformative higher education leader, Satish K. Tripathi, PhD, was appointed the 15th president of the University at Buffalo on April 18, 2011.
Dr. Tripathi, who served as UB’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs from 2004-2011, was one of the principal creators of the UB 2020 strategic plan to achieve academic excellence and has led the university to achieve significant growth in research and scholarly activity, enhanced student quality and diversity, and an expanded international presence. Building on this strong foundation, Dr. Tripathi has a vision for UB’s future that focuses on moving the university into the highest ranks of the nation’s leading research universities through expanding its reach and impact locally as well as globally.
The first international-born president in UB’s history, Dr. Tripathi served as dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California-Riverside prior to coming to UB. Previously, he was a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, where his 19-year tenure as a faculty member included serving as chair from 1988-1995. A fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he holds honorary degrees from the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, and Brock University in Ontario, Canada. In 2009, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by Banaras Hindu University.
An active leader in the national higher education community, Dr. Tripathi is chair of the Mid‑American Conference Council of Presidents and serves on the boards of the NCAA Division I, NCAA Board of Governors, College Football Playoff Board of Managers and Internet2. He has also served on the board of directors for the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, . Among his numerous community leadership roles, Dr. Tripathi serves on the boards of directors of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Great Lakes Health. Appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2011 as an inaugural co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, he served in this position until 2017.
An accomplished higher education leader and innovator and an exemplary scholar and teacher, Dr. A. Scott Weber has served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs since 2019. As the university’s second ranking officer, he is responsible for overseeing all academic and academic support programs. Prior to his appointment as provost, Dr. Weber served as vice president for Student Life.
A highly respected professor and senior leader at UB, Dr. Weber has spent more than 30 years enabling faculty to deliver impactful research and education and providing UB students with the academic programs, support and resources they need to thrive at the university and beyond.
Previously, Dr. Weber served as the senior vice provost for academic affairs where he provided leadership for undergraduate and graduate education, academic support services, transformative extracurricular programs and centralized enrollment services. He led efforts to ensure that students have a transformative educational experience with opportunities to engage in truly distinctive research, creative and public service activities that are hallmarks of a top-tier university education. Dr. Weber was also instrumental in the creation of the UB curriculum and the university’s nationally recognized Finish in 4 program.
A professor and former chair of the department of civil, structural and environmental engineering in the UB school of engineering and applied sciences, Dr. Weber’s research focuses on biodegradation of chemicals in water and soil and the reclamation of environmentally impacted sites known as brownfields.
A member of the UB faculty since 1983, Dr. Weber twice was named professor of the year by the UB student chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. He received a BS and an MS from Virginia Tech and earned a PhD in civil engineering from the University of California-Davis.
UB offers world-class benefits that exceed salary alone, such as health and retirement plans. For more information: http://www.buffalo.edu/administrative-services/for-faculty-staff/benefits.html
Review of applications will begin February 26, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at www.spelmanjohnson.com/open-positions. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Mark Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.