Welcome to UB's Fall 2023 Semester

Dear students, faculty and staff:

Welcome to a new academic year at the University at Buffalo! Even as you savor the waning days of summer, I hope you are as enthusiastic as I am about the start of our fall semester. To see our campus bustling with activity today is to appreciate the collective intellectual energy of our university!

Over the past week or so, while making my way around campus, I have connected and reconnected with so many members of our scholarly community. Whether meeting our new faculty (more than 150 this year!), learning about our staff’s innovative plans for the upcoming year, or greeting students and their parents during move-in, I always enjoy these occasions to get to know you and to catch up on the events of the summer. Soon enough—certainly before the leaves turn—such casual chats will yield to “shoptalk” as we immerse ourselves in our respective academic endeavors.

In the meantime, my recent conversations with you remind me that this time of year often gives rise to dueling excitement and nerves. Making the rounds at our international student welcome event, I remembered what it felt like to leave the familiarity of India in my early 20s to pursue my master’s degree in Canada. As our junior faculty shared their expectations for the semester, I recalled negotiating the demands of research, teaching and service as I launched my own academic career. And as I watched the emotional good-byes during move-in? As a parent, I can certainly relate!

Whether we’re new to UB or have been here for decades, each of us can expect to experience a degree of discomfort as we acclimate to the new academic year. But that’s not a bad thing. On the contrary, professional growth tends to occur during periods of adjustment. If we seek to expand the boundaries of knowledge, we must occasionally traverse into unfamiliar disciplines. Tackling society’s grand challenges requires us to understand and engage with different—and differing—viewpoints.

And that’s what makes me feel fortunate to be a part of such a dynamic, diverse and supportive scholarly community! As you embark on UB’s academic year, my wish for you is that you continue to step outside your comfort zone and take measured risks in your studies, your research, your creative projects and your profession.

And then, as the semester winds down, I will look forward to catching up with you about all that you accomplished!

With all my best for a productive, rewarding and memorable semester,

Satish K. Tripathi