SUNY Trustees, Chancellor Appoint UB President William R. Greiner President Emeritus

Release Date: November 17, 2009 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- William R. Greiner, the University at Buffalo's 13th president whose tireless dedication to students and UB earned him the reputation as the quintessential university citizen, was appointed president emeritus today by the SUNY Board of Trustees and Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.

Greiner -- whose contributions to the university he devoted himself to for the past 42 years include spearheading the drive to Division I sports and countless hours as university community mentor -- became president emeritus by a unanimous SUNY Trustees vote that followed a strong recommendation from Zimpher. He retired from his teaching, writing and mentoring role at the university Oct. 16 for health reasons.

"His contributions and service to both the University at Buffalo and to the SUNY system have been key to the development of the University at Buffalo as a world-class institution of higher education," Zimpher said in her recommendation to the trustees. "With his retirement in October, the tremendous contributions he has made to higher education generally, and to the University at Buffalo and the State University of New York, it is now appropriate for the board to appoint Dr. Greiner President Emeritus."

The appointment from Zimpher and the trustees follows a resolution unanimously passed by the University at Buffalo Council requesting the trustees designate Greiner as university professor and President Emeritus. The council praised Greiner's many contributions and accomplishments, a record that spans his 13 years as president from 1991 to 2004 and his many other years when he counseled countless faculty, administrators and students who have gone on to make their own contributions to the university.

Greiner's list of accomplishments at UB includes launching the most ambitious fundraising campaign in university and SUNY history, construction of state-of-the-art student residence halls, the establishment of several research institutes and research centers, and years of dedicating himself as a tireless and strategic administrator, as well as a beloved professor and influential university booster.

For five years before his retirement, Greiner taught courses for the UB Law School and Graduate School of Education. Last year he published the thought-provoking book, "Location, Location, Location," which chronicles factors leading to construction of UB's North Campus in Amherst, and debunks the urban legend that the decision to build in Amherst, and not in Buffalo, was made for dubious or politically short-sighted reasons.

Greiner's official recommendation cited the early days of his UB career when he joined the faculty of the Law School. He then served the University at Buffalo as provost and senior vice president from 1984-91, interim vice president for academic affairs from 1983-84, associate vice president for academic affairs from 1980-83, associate dean of the Law School from 1975-80, associate provost of the Law School from 1970-75, and chair of the Legal Studies Programs from 1968-70.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 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.

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