Academic Excellence and Success Fee

In response to NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant initiative in 2011, the University at Buffalo created a strategic investment plan to invest in and expand academics and research, need- based aid, and faculty and researchers. Fueled by NYSUNY 2020, the plan was leveraged by capital funding, a rational tuition policy, and the Academic Excellence and Success Fee (AESF).

The Academic Excellence and Success Fee program provides the crucial margin of resources that enabled the full realization of UB’s NYSUNY 2020 academic strategy.

The first element of this strategy focused on the expansion of interdisciplinary faculty teams that provide new, relevant educational programs for UB students and that build UB’s competitiveness in attracting new research support to the university. This research support provides opportunities for graduate student research and an improved standing for UB in the national and international research community.

Second, UB NYSUNY 2020 built educational capacity at UB. With the addition of faculty, UB now offers more course sections in high-demand course areas. We also provide the advising, technical and facilities infrastructures that ensure more timely attainment of every student’s degree objective and a higher quality educational experience. UB has concentrated the investment of Academic Excellence and Success Fee revenue to build these infrastructures for our students.

Student Benefits and Impacts

With this research and educational paradigm provided in part by the Academic Excellence and Success Fee, UB is steadily expanding our stature, renown and impact. The world’s best and brightest faculty are increasingly coming to UB because they desire to be part of the cutting-edge research discoveries and breakthroughs. At the same time, UB’s transformational education is preparing our students to face the challenges confronting our world and to become the future leaders in their professions and communities. UB is steadily attracting more high-caliber students who are drawn by the unique opportunity to work directly with faculty at the forefront of their fields. For our graduates, the investments made with Academic Excellence and Success Fee revenue only further strengthens the value and distinction of a UB degree now and in years to come.

The Academic Excellence and Success Fee seeks to support innovative university initiatives that accelerate UB’s efforts to be recognized as one of the leading public research universities in the nation by strategic investments to support our faculty, students, staff and the entire academic enterprise.

Actual Expenditures

pie chart of academic excellence fee expenditures by initiative.
pie chart of academic excellence fee 3 E program expenditures.

On this page:

Expenditures – Building Key Student Service and Academic Infrastructures:

Student Services:

  • UB’s Center for Excellence in Writing - UB hired faculty and support staff partially funded by AESF fee revenue to support specialized courses that improve writing skills of students engaged in a wide range of academic programs. The Center serves as an intellectual foundation for writing research, teaching, practice, and assessment, and for providing tutorial and workshop assistance to students.
    • CEW employs 42 UB students and 11 TAs to provide individual consultations.
    • In order to see more writers, the CEW has purchased additional tables to fit more staff and writers; expanded Friday hours and added a shift on Sunday. CEW consultants have been placed in the resident hall and athletics academic centers.
    • CEW has worked with over 4,000 student writers
    • CEW holds dissertation boot camps and retreats and an “English Conversation Corner” and interviewing workshop for international students.
    • Specially trained writing consultants have visited more than 30 classrooms for presentations and workshops.
    • The new Digital Composition Lab supports students integrating visual, audio, and film elements into their texts.
  • Extended Library Hours – UB made undergraduate library facilities available 24 hours per day, seven days per week by hiring the necessary support staff to supervise library facilities at all hours of the day.
  • Upgrade Classroom Facilities – The AESF has made it possible to add and upgrade technologies in centrally scheduled classrooms.
  • Heart of the Campus – UB has redesigned facilities at the center of the North Campus that once housed library books to create a new and integrated student service delivery model. A one-stop service counter and new teaching and learning facilities arranged in a fashion consistent with 21st century national best practice learning landscape precedents is currently underway. Fee revenues will fund new cybrary equipment, staff servicing for new facilities, and learning landscape furnishings and technologies.

Research and Academic Initiatives

  • Built Environment, Health Behavior, and Health Outcomes Initiative - This project resulted in enhanced sponsored research, the launch of an innovative cross-school dual degree in planning and public health, and accelerated publications by faculty.
  • Four faculty tenure-track hires in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (SAP), Community Health and Health Behavior (PHHP), and Rehab Science (PHHP)
  • Submission of research proposals totaling $2m annually
  • Awarded $4.6m in research proposals
  • 26 peer reviewed articles in leading journals
  • Developed a Joint Masters in Urban Planning and Masters Public Health Program
  • Funds also provide support for SAP/PHHP equipment for faculty hires
  • Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness – The Center produces top-quality research in organizational leadership and innovation, helps the School of Management attract and retain accomplished and promising researchers in the field, fosters research-practice collaborations with dynamic industries in Buffalo/WNY, and provides educational programs and opportunities for students at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels.
    • Five faculty hires and one staff hire
    • Over $1m in research expenditures and three research projects
    • Establishment of the Leadership Accelerator Program
    • Created collaboration with over 50 WNY business and social sector organizations
    • Establishment of the CLOE Conference, Speaker Series (“Leaders on Leadership”), consulting/research partnerships, and the Executive Coaching Program
  • Institute for Sustainable Transportation and Logistics (ISTL) – Fee revenue allows for faculty and students to research problems of direct relevance to society, while providing numerous opportunities for hands-on experiences. ISTL hosts a signature Master’s program, which offers a joint degree between SEAS and SOM, as well as a certificate in transportation, logistics and supply-chain management.
    • Six faculty hires and 1 part time staff hire
    • $7.8m US Department of Transportation research proposal
    • $6.25m total research budget
    • Completed 60 publications, five Summit/Symposiums, and a seminar series
    • Establishment of an Advisory Board and partnership opportunities with other universities
    • Creation of the new interdisciplinary Transportation and Logistics MS degree
  • Establishment of Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering – The Masters + PhD program fills the pressing need for computational and data sciences as critical elements of scientific progress, economic competitiveness, and national security. Funds helped to engage and increase research/funding opportunities, hire two senior faculty of international stature and six junior faculty, and organize annual workshops and summer schools to develop a vibrant research and education program on campus.
    • Nine faculty hires
    • $3m in research proposals and $2.9m awarded
    • Submitted 30+ research proposals, produced 10+ CDSE focused peer reviewed publications, fellowships to 15+ CDSE focused UB graduate students
    • New MS program approved and SEAS MS program concentration
    • 20+ new interdisciplinary projects launched by CDSE-affiliated faculty
    • Held 20+ workshops with 30+ attendees
    • Held the 5th Annual CDSE Days in April 2019
  • Institute of Bridge Engineering - The Institute of Bridge Engineering (IBE) established the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering (CSEE) and MCEER as the leader in bridge engineering research and education in the United States. The IBE built on 26 years of research and education conducted by CSEE faculty, primarily through MCEER, with $36M in funding from the FHWA. Four ladder faculty were hired in CSEE with skill sets that have broadened academic offerings and enabled new interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. The opportunities offered by funding of the IBE generates $1+M per year in revenue for UB, created new jobs in WNY, trains the next generation of bridge engineers key to the revitalization of our state, and improves the quality of life for New Yorkers through enhanced safety against earthquakes and terrorist attacks.
  • Health Services, Policy & Practice Department - Funding has allowed the School of Public Health and Health Policy to establish the Health Services, Policy and Practice Department which focuses on academic and research programs in health services/policy. Health services research encompasses work in the areas of:
    • Health outcomes, health care quality
    • Health policy, health care administration and management
    • Health systems research
    • Consumer education
    • Health economics, health care finance
    • Health care effectiveness, cost effectiveness, comparative effectiveness research
    • Health care access and utilization, health care for under-served populations.

Fee Contact

Office of Resource Planning
544 Capen Hall
Monday - Friday; 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Academic Excellence and Success Fee part of the Comprehensive Fee?

The Academic Excellence and Success Fee is not a part of the “bundled” Comprehensive Fee, however is considered a “broad-based fee.” Broad based fees are generally charged to all enrolled students to finance discrete activities that benefit the student body, excluding those activities that are a part of the core instructional program.

Is this fee included in the Broad-based Fee Student Consultation?

Yes. During the student consultation, there are many ways to become involved (MyUB, survey, Facebook, and your student representatives). Students have the opportunity to express thoughts regarding any of the broad-based fees at any time.

In the formative year of the UB NYSUNY 2020 program, multiple correspondences were sent to students in fall semester billing communications that announced the AESF program and its linkage to the larger NYSUNY 2020 program. The Vice President for University Life and Services and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education held an extended forum with student leaders in early December of 2011 to discuss UB NYSUNY 2020 and the Academic Excellence and Success Fee. The input from that meeting was that student leaders actively engaged in the discussion were supportive of the UB NYSUNY 2020 approach and encouraged continual, active dialogue with students in constructing future plans for tuition and fee revenue use. For UB students, the AESF was first charged in 2011 at an annual rate of $75 and was increase by $75 annually through 2015-16.