Published June 27, 2011
Passage of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NYSUNY 2020 bill on June 24 provides the revenue needed to implement the next phase of UB 2020, which includes relocating the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in downtown Buffalo.
The legislation moves forward UB’s plans to relocate the medical school in downtown Buffalo by authorizing capital funding from the governor’s NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program and other sources.
Location of the UB medical school to downtown Buffalo will stimulate an already vibrant Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and its surrounding neighborhood.
It also will more closely align UB with Kaleida Health and Buffalo’s other major health care institutions.
This alignment will spur new educational opportunities for medical students, improve regional patient care and boost the region’s emerging biotechnology industry.
Based on data they recently presented to state officials in support of the NYSUNY Challenge Grant Program, UB leaders anticipate that implementation of the next phase of UB 2020 will create:
In addition, more than 1,600 construction jobs would be created to build a new UB medical school in downtown Buffalo.
The new legislation authorizes all SUNY campuses to implement a rational tuition plan that gives the campuses the ability to raise tuition up to $300 annually for five years.
As part of the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program, the four University Centers in Buffalo, Albany, Binghamton and Stony Brook also are authorized to raise tuition 10 percent for out-of-state students.
Importantly, the bill prevents the state from cutting funding to SUNY in an amount equal to the revenue generated by tuition increases—a long-standing practice in Albany following SUNY tuition increases.
Low-income students in New York State who qualify for maximum financial aid through the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) will not be impacted by tuition increases authorized by the bill.
To ensure equitable access to UB, the university also will invest a portion of tuition revenues into need-based financial aid.
Even with tuition increases, UB remains one of the most affordable public universities in the U.S.
UB President Satish K. Tripathi praised the passage of the bill and extended his gratitude and appreciation to all those who helped make it possible: Gov. Cuomo, the Western New York delegation, Senate and Assembly leadership, business, labor and community leaders and UB alumni, faculty, staff and students.
The bill, he said, will have a “transformative impact” on UB and public higher education in New York State. Moreover, it offers a historic new model for investing in public higher education during a period of declining state funding support.
The three main interrelated objectives of UB 2020’s next phase, said Tripathi, are “enhanced educational and research excellence, improved health care for Western New York and creation of an innovation economy that will produce regional job growth.”
UB will use funding provided by the bill to offer students the very best academic programs, hire new faculty in a variety of academic disciplines across the university and spur regional economic development through faculty research and education of a talented workforce.
With the hiring of new faculty, the university will realize significant academic benefits, including expanded course offerings throughout the university, smaller class-sizes and enhanced research opportunities for students—all of which will improve students’ educational experience and their time-to-degree completion.
“UB 2020 is first and foremost a plan for building a great university,” said Tripathi. “It’s a plan to advance the academic and research enterprise of our university so we can make the world, locally and globally, a better place.”