Published September 28, 2021
Our fall semester is fully underway and our campus is bustling with activity. Together, we have welcomed more than 80 new full-time faculty members who have joined our excellent faculty to continue pushing the frontiers of knowledge and positively changing the world through scholarship, education and engagement.
We have also welcomed a record more than 30,500 students to our campus. Our freshmen class of over 4,100 students is highly qualified and academically talented. Our student body is more diverse than previous years, with more students of color, women and international students.
This academic year, many of your colleagues are working to implement the recommendations from the President’s Advisory Council on Race to enable UB to harness its education, research and engagement missions to combat racism, dismantle structural barriers to equality, and make UB a more inclusive place to live, learn and work. Composed of 135 faculty and staff members from across the university, the implementation effort involves a Steering Committee guiding the work of seven subcommittees focused on key recommendations. In addition, undergraduate and graduate student committees will provide advice and guidance to the Steering Committee.
UB is advancing steadily on our vision of being recognized among the top 25 public research universities in the nation. We are focusing on building disciplinary excellence across UB, growing externally funded research and prestigious awards received by faculty, improving student outcomes, building top graduate programs, and enhancing faculty, staff and student diversity across the university. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to build on UB’s strengths and achieve new levels of excellence in research, scholarship, teaching, clinical care, and community engagement. To learn more about UB’s progress and plans for the future, please join me in attending President Tripathi’s 10th State of the University address on October 8.
As we have returned to a more active and vibrant campus experience this fall, protecting the health and safety of the UB community remains vitally important. UB students have truly stepped up to ensure the safety of the broader UB community with 99% of students having been vaccinated – the highest rate in SUNY. Although not required, over 80% of our faculty and staff have indicated that they are vaccinated. In addition to vaccines, health and safety measures and protocols are in place to help protect our students, faculty, staff and visitors from spread of COVID-19 on campus – including indoor masking for everyone, weekly surveillance testing of unvaccinated employees and students, and a vaccine requirement to attend public athletic and cultural events on campus.
Let me close by thanking each of you for the hard work, innovation and tenacity you have shown over the last 18 months, as we have collectively battled and successfully managed the COVID-19 pandemic. While, I know that the challenges have been varied and felt differentially by many of our colleagues, I am also heartened by our collective resilience and efforts to meet the needs of our entire community. As we continue to meet these challenges, I wish you all the best for a safe and fulfilling academic year.
A. Scott Weber Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs