Employees campaign makes a difference in the community


Published December 5, 2022

Ann Bisantz.

Ann Bisantz


Ann Bisantz, dean of undergraduate education and professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is chair of the 2022 Employees Campaign for the Community. In this Q&A with UBNow, Bisantz talks about what the campaign means to her and why it's important for UB employees to support the effort.

What does the campaign mean to you as chair, as dean of undergraduate education and as a person?

As chair, I am honored to serve as a leader for this signature initiative. The campaign is a tangible way that UB, as a community, expresses our engagement with and service to our region. It is our privilege and duty to give back to the communities where we live and work. I believe all of us at UB have some connection to the charitable agencies supported by the campaign, and I am so grateful to join my UB colleagues in these efforts.

Did you have any personal objectives or touches you planned on adding to the campaign this year?

Every chair brings a different background, skill set and perspective to this leadership role. As dean of undergraduate education, and a longtime UB faculty member, I hope to make a connection between the organizations served by the campaign, and UB’s educational and research mission. UB faculty, staff and students already make an impact on our community. Through the comprehensive research conducted by our faculty and students, along with the thousands of hours of service and educational activities that take place on and off campus, we make positive contributions every day. Financially supporting the campaign adds another critical component to our UB community’s role in meeting the needs in our region.

What have you learned or what was surprising that you have discovered so far as you lead this effort?

It has been amazing to learn just how much institutional knowledge and passion exists around our annual Campaign for the Community. I knew that this initiative was an important part of our collective identity. However, I wasn’t aware of how pervasive the spirit of the campaign is, regardless of which decanal unit, department or office you visit. This is truly an initiative that every member of campus can participate in — by making a donation and/or participating in a special event.

As part of your campaign leadership experience, you and Brian Hamluk, vice president for student life and 2022 campaign vice chair, toured FeedMore WNY’s food bank distribution center on Holt Street. What stands out about that experience?

Ann Bisantz and Brian Hamluk visit Feed More WNY.

Campaign chair Ann Bisantz and vice chair Brian Hamluk recently toured FeedMore WNY's distribution center. FeedMore, created from the merger of the Food Bank of WNY and Meals on Wheels, works to end hunger in the community. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

Vice President Hamluk and I are both appreciative of the opportunity to visit FeedMore WNY’s facility, and to learn more about their programs and operations, as well as the clients they serve across the region. It was sobering to learn about the extensive needs in our community, yet we also learned about the many innovative ways that FeedMore is meeting those needs.

How does UB’s response compare with that of other organizations and higher education institutions in Western New York and nationally?

We should all be proud of UB’s longstanding and successful employees’ campaign. In terms of employee giving, UB’s campaign is among the top university campaigns nationwide, and we have the largest State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA) campaign in New York State.

What are some of the special events being held on campus to raise money for the campaign?

There are many special events taking place throughout campus. For example, Campus Dining and Shops recently held their annual pie sale. Individual units and schools are organizing their own exciting and unique events. In our area (the Provost’s Office), we conducted a daylong 50/50 raffle and continue to offer weekly prize raffles that generate new excitement each week.

We all have only so much time and resources to contribute to charitable organizations, and many people already give to other causes. Why is it important that we continue to support the Campaign for the Community?

Our specific partnership with SEFA and the United Way promotes awareness and fundraising support for countless organizations that do not have the capacity to do so on the scale that the United Way is able to offer. Additionally, the administrative costs associated with donations specifically through this campaign are well below national average and benchmarks, making contributions through this initiative quite effective. Finally, this campaign is a way for all of us at UB to work together, make a difference in our community and showcase our True Blue spirit.

How can members of the campus community contribute to the campaign?

The first and most effective way is to join us in donating today. We also need help with spreading the word, so please support your departmental liaisons as they work to inform colleagues throughout the university. Additionally, if your unit is hosting a special fundraiser, we encourage you to participate as you are able. Our Steering Committee has worked very hard to put together some exciting opportunities. If there are any particular organizations that a group is interested in learning about, the campaign team is able to help coordinate bringing in guest speakers, as well.


Nice article and it is great to see the impact that UB has on our wonderful community.

Jay Stockslader