This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Faculty invited to attend "envisioning retreats"

Sessions designed to discuss UB 2020 strategic strengths

Published: March 3, 2005

Reporter Contributor

All UB faculty are invited to participate in a series of UB 2020 "envisioning retreats" to discuss the 10 strategic strengths that have been identified as the university's best opportunities for achieving significant academic prominence and recognition.


The first envisioning retreat, to discuss nanomaterials, is slated for 2-7 p.m. Monday in 12 Capen Hall, North Campus.

"Each of the envisioning retreats will provide us with an important opportunity to think creatively about advancing UB as an institution," said Satish Tripathi, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. "The retreats will discuss what it means to UB to identify those specific strategic strengths; the human, physical and financial resources that we already possess in those areas; and the steps that we believe we must take immediately, as well as within the next three to five years."

Diane Christian, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the UB 2020 Academic Planning Committee, noted that the idea of "strategic strengths" is interdisciplinary in radical, disciplinary and broad, university ways.

"The links between basic science and public policy and law and ethics and professionals and human understanding have never been so obviously interwoven," Christian said. "And we at this incredibly rich university are well-positioned to contribute. On the one hand, this is the old, fine ideal of a university, but it is palpably new because it's so grounded in faculty, so comprehensive and so long-range. It feels very powerful to me."

Envisioning retreats also have been scheduled to discuss computing and information technology from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 31, in 280 Park Hall; civic engagement and public policy, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 2, 545 O'Brian Hall; and clinical sciences and experimental medicine, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 23, 280 Park Hall.

The dates of the envisioning retreats to discuss aging and chronic diseases; artistic expression and performing arts; biodefense and response to catastrophic events; literary, cultural and textual studies; and molecular understanding of biological systems will be announced in the Reporter when the information becomes available. No envisioning retreat is planned for bioinformatics and health sciences because it is part of a separate Bioinformatics Business Planning Task Force.

Huw Davies, UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry, CAS, and a member of the Academic Planning Committee, urges all faculty members to participate in the planning process, including the retreats. "From my perspective, this is a very exciting change in the way that UB conducts its planning efforts," Davies said. "In the past, much of the planning came from top-down management. Now, faculty members have a sincere opportunity to present their vision for the future of the university and to take responsibility for developing plans to achieve those goals."

For details about the retreats and other UB 2020 information, consult the UB 2020 Web site at ub2020.