UB Regional Institute to Commemorate 10th Anniversary with Symposium on Change

By Rachel M. Teaman

Release Date: September 26, 2007 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Regional Institute will mark its 10th anniversary by reflecting on the issue of change -- how it happens, why we resist it and what it means for the Buffalo Niagara region -- at a symposium to be held Oct. 11.

The Symposium on Change, which will convene regional leaders, community activists and the general public, will be held in Asbury Hall in The Church, 341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, from 12:30-5 p.m., with a reception to follow.

"The Regional Institute's 10th birthday presents an ideal opportunity to take a step back and consider the issue of change, not just how we have changed as a region over the past decade, but how change takes place on a broader scale -- in the economy, in our social structure and even in organizations," said Kathryn A. Foster, director of the Regional Institute.

The institute formed in October 1997 as part of the University at Buffalo's mission in civic engagement, public policy and public service. Since then, it has worked to shed light on governance and public-policy issues facing regions through research, projects and initiatives, often in partnership with the binational Buffalo Niagara community.

"It is fitting that after a decade of influencing change on so many levels, the institute provides the region with a unique forum to address this complex topic that is also fundamental to progress in Buffalo Niagara," said Nils Olsen, dean and professor of law of the UB Law School, which oversees the institute.

The symposium's three keynote speakers will address various types of change, including society's conflicting tendencies to both resist and embrace change.

Andrew Reamer, a Brookings Institution fellow who has worked extensively with local and state governments on economic development, will discuss economic change. Melanie E.L. Bush, professor of sociology and anthropology at Adelphi University, will speak to the issues of social and demographic change. Addressing institutional and civic change will be Sean Safford, professor in organizations and strategy at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business.

Regional leaders in the private, public, nonprofit and academic sectors, including elected officials, community activists and members of the news media, will provide local perspectives on change in Buffalo Niagara over the past decade, while looking ahead to 2017 with respect to their expectations and hopes for change in Buffalo Niagara.

Members of a regional reaction panel will include John M. Thomas, dean of the UB School of Management, Debra A. Street, UB professor of sociology, and Joseph V. Stefko, deputy director of the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority.

The institute will unveil at the symposium "The Difference a Decade Makes," a commemorative briefing book on change in the region over the past 10 years.

The institute is also conducting a survey of regional residents to assess change at the personal level -- in finances, politics, health and education, for example. The institute will present survey findings at the symposium. The public is encouraged to take the five-minute survey, available online at http://regional-institute.buffalo.edu.

"Change is, of course, part of our everyday lives, but we hope this symposium will encourage the region to consider the larger forces that shape and hinder change, and even society's and our community's varied reactions to change," Foster said.

The event is open to the public, with registration and program information available at http://regional-institute.buffalo.edu. The event fee is $35, which includes the briefing book and post-event reception.

A major research and public policy center of the University at Buffalo, the Regional Institute plays a vital role in addressing key policy and governance issues for regions, with focused analysis of the Buffalo-Niagara region. A unit of the UB Law School, the institute leverages the resources of the university and binational community to pursue a wide range of scholarship, projects and initiatives that frame issues, inform decisions and guide change.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 27,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.