As a major public research university, the University at Buffalo is committed to the creation and dissemination of knowledge and ideas. The university recognizes the important role of the news media as a channel of communication with the public and will provide qualified representatives of news reporting organizations with timely and accurate information regarding the university’s programs and activities.
University Communications serves as UB’s designated contact point for the news media and is the source of official information about the university. Faculty and staff members who wish to initiate contact with the news media, or who receive news media inquiries, should first coordinate with University Communications.
Professional media relations staff members in the Division of University Communications serve as responsible advocates for the university. Their communication with members of the media and the public is guided by the principles of integrity, honesty, accuracy and ethical decision-making as described in the PRSA Member Code of Ethics.
UB's media relations staff will respond promptly, courteously and professionally to requests from members of the news media who seek information about the university or access to the university and its administrators, faculty, staff and students. In turn, UB expects members of the news media to conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner when contacting or interacting with members of the university community and when visiting the UB campus. The university reserves the right to break off contact with news media representatives who consistently fail to adhere to these expectations.
News media are permitted to enter public areas of the university’s campuses without permission, but are encouraged to first contact UB's media relations team so that staff may help facilitate visits to campus. Access to classrooms, offices and to all residence halls is strictly prohibited without prior permission from the university. Media personnel who infringe upon, delay or conflict with UB’s normal operations may be asked to leave campus. News media are not required to obtain permission before filming in public areas of the campus. During emergencies, UB officials may require news media to remain within a designated media filming zone for law enforcement or safety reasons.
University Communications' Media Relations team serves as UB’s primary contact point for the news media.
Human Resources serves as UB’s primary contact point for public records requests.
University Communications is the only on-campus entity granted the authority to call and hold news conferences on behalf of the university. Such news conferences typically are held only for major university announcements. News conferences are convened as a way to efficiently share important news with the media; the focus at the event will be on meeting the needs of the news media.
UB’s Division of Athletics may convene news conferences on matters related to intercollegiate athletics. All other departments should coordinate with the Division of University Communications.
Faculty, staff and students who would like to discuss the protocol for calling a news conference should contact UB’s media relations staff.
When public comment on behalf of the university is requested, an appropriate spokesperson will be identified by UB’s senior leadership and/or the associate vice president for university communications. Faculty are always free to discuss any topics related to their areas of academic expertise, but no one is to speak on behalf of the university nor interpret university policy unless designated by the administration as a spokesperson.
During a crisis or incident that disrupts normal university operations, the university has procedures in place to communicate with faculty, staff, students and members of the media and public as needed.
University Police and the Division of University Communications are authorized to communicate emergency information on behalf of the university using approved communication channels (e.g. "UB Alert"). These channels may include: university email, text messaging, UB websites, news releases, electronic campus signage and emergency phone lines. For more information about UB’s emergency communications channels and procedures, go to the emergency website.
During a weather emergency or other event that disrupts normal university operations, University Communications staff will reach out to members of the media to engage their assistance in notifying the public.
As a state agency, the University at Buffalo complies fully with the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), which was enacted to assure public accountability of state agencies while protecting individuals against unwarranted invasions of personal privacy.
Pursuant to SUNY Policy 6601: Compliance with FOIL, UB’s public records are made available through the campus records access officer. Any university employee receiving a public records request from the news media should direct it to UB’s designated records access officer, and inform the Division of University Communications.
Records Access Officer
Brian T. Hines
Policy and Operational Excellence
120 Crofts Hall
Buffalo, NY USA 14260-7022
Tel: (716) 645-7777
Fax: (716) 645-2724