Published August 31, 2020
Dear university community,
Today, as our faculty, students and staff embark on a semester unlike any in our institution’s 175-year history, I would like to assure you all of this: Despite the unprecedented circumstances we face, nothing about UB’s mission and vision of excellence changes. We are still committed to providing our students with an exceptional education that prepares them to lead in our 21st-century world. We are still dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research and scholarly work that enhance the communities we serve.
Let me assure you of this as well: We are prepared. We have adapted to, and innovated for, this new—albeit temporary—reality. Over the past several months, our planning has accounted for every conceivable contingency and covered all facets of our university’s operations. Throughout this rigorous, university-wide process, our first priority has always been ensuring the health and safety of every member of our university community.
To that end, if you’re on campus today, you’re sure to notice the hundreds of UB blue signs reminding each of us to wear a face mask on campus, practice social distancing and maintain good hygiene.
Allow me to underscore their message—namely, that we all share responsibility for complying with these critical protocols.
Remember, as members of a public research university, we are called to contribute to the welfare of others. In the context of a global pandemic, this means, for example, that our faculty are using 3-D technology to develop effective and reusable N95-like respirators, and leading a clinical trial into a treatment for COVID-19. It means that our staff has helped reimagine academic support to help our students not only adjust to new modes of instruction and learning, but also thrive as they advance toward degree completion.
Not least of all, it means that each of us must avoid large gatherings. We must complete the daily health check. If we are to keep our campus safe and avoid the disruptions that have plagued other universities, we must follow the evidence-based guidelines that prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In doing so, we can all enjoy a healthy, productive and rewarding semester. As we begin the fall semester, that is my wish for every member of our university community.
Satish K. Tripathi