Simpson shares concerns about UB2020
Although the UB 2020 plan is still in the works, its future looks bleak due to the New York State budget cuts, President Simpson told UB Council members on Monday.
UB 2020 offers hope to the Buffalo region and will bring about an increase in jobs in all sectors, Simpson explained, but it is not guaranteed.
"UB 2020 is further away today than it has been before," Simpson said. "If we maintain the status quo, [that's] a recipe for disaster."
Simpson said that UB 2020 will require funding from the state and from money to be earned by the university – both of which are currently limited. He added that the state has cut UB's funding and constantly pursues outdated policies that prevent the university from improving its revenues.
Simpson explained that much of the debate in Albany centers on the issue of tuition and who gets to govern it. He added that public education should be affordable.
"We have to ensure that we are able to apply as a public university that is of the highest quality," Simpson said.
Although the magnitude of the cuts at UB have been subtle and not as catastrophic as expected, Simpson pointed out that UB may not be able to handle the more severe cuts that it will have in the future.
Student representative John Martin shares Simpson's concerns.
"Students are really starting to feel the cuts," Martin said.
The UB Council also approved the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act, a plan intended to strengthen public higher education in New York State and provide a much-needed boost to the state's struggling economy. Through the act, investments in SUNY public research universities like UB will help renew the economies of various New York regions.
Simpson is confident that Western New York residents will continue to support and invest in UB, calling them a "beacon of hope" for the university.