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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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"FSEC discusses excellence, economy and environment"

It was all business on Wednesday when the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) met to discuss the recent projects and developments UB is currently undertaking.

???Robert Hoeing, the chairman of FSEC, began the meeting by speaking about the 2009 Celebration of Academic Excellence, which will be held on April 7. At the celebration, awards will be given to SUNY distinguished professors as well as faculty who demonstrate excellence, service, business, librarianship and various other honors.

???Another major focus of the meeting was the severe economic crisis that the city of Buffalo and Western New York as a whole is facing, and how UB is making an effort to improve the situation.

???Hoeing, President John B. Simpson, and Provost and Executive Vice-President Satish K. Tripathi collaborated to write a resolution in support of the "UB 2020 Flexibility and Economic Growth Act." The Act calls for a rational tuition policy and increased flexibility in spending and contracts, as well as flexibility in land use and acquisition and access to market capital for debt financing. All members of FSEC eagerly supported this act.

???Hoeing and other supporters of the Act hope that it will help to actualize one of the central goals of the UB 2020 plan, which is to maximize UB's positive impact on the region and the state.

???"[This Act] is not just for the university," Hoeing said. "It's for the Western New York region."

???Bradshaw Hovey, staff associate of in the Department of Architecture, Joseph Raab, director of environment, health and safety services, and Robert Shibley, senior adviser to President Simpson for campus planning and design, also members of the Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC), spoke about their efforts to achieve carbon neutrality at UB.

???According to Raab, the factors that contribute most to UB's carbon footprint are utilities such as cooling and heating, and transportation to and from, as well as between, the campuses.

???In September 2007, President Simpson signed the American University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which commits UB to develop a long-range plan to achieve climate neutrality within two years.

???The ESC is already beginning to initiate a climate action plan.

???"We're in the process of buying a software system that will allow us not only to track our entire carbon emission from every university activity, but also to test various scenarios to see what the impact on the future carbon footprint of the university will be," Hovey said.

???According to Raab, the UB Green initiative has been quite successful in its goal to conserve energy on campus. UB is currently buying 15 percent of its energy from green sources.

???A primary goal of the ESC is to get the entire campus community in spreading the message about UB Green and reducing our carbon footprint. For this purpose, the Committee established various subcommittees.

???Raab believes that the Research, Teaching and Public Service Committee is especially important.

???"If we are going to be successful in trying to do climate neutrality at the University at Buffalo, we really need to integrate it into academia and into the types of things that we are doing in our curriculum," Rabb said.

???The members of the ESC contend that in order to achieve a truly "green" university, it takes a campus-wide effort.

???"We are really looking for as much involvement as we can get, especially from faculty and students, because we believe that the success of this initiative really depends on integrating this across the whole campus," Raab said.



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