As the first day of classes came to an end, news of President Simpson's retirement quickly spread on campus. Below are some UB community reactions to the unexpected news.
Mason Curtacci, junior biological science major
"I just want to know why. It seems really sudden."
Robert Townsley, sophomore history major
"I honestly believe he retired because of complications with UB 2020."
Andrea Hagadorn, senior international studies major
"Who's President Simpson?"
Elizabeth Sherman, senior communication major
"I'm very surprised he's retiring in the middle of the academic year. I do hope that they consider Dennis Black for the position. He's really involved with the student population and understands their needs – and he's awesome."
Tony Smith, sophomore political science major
"He was losing sight of what the state school system was supposed to be about with UB 2020."
Diana Tong, senior psychology major
"I don't really care but I'm just curious."
Stephanie Fung, senior psychology and marketing major
"To be honest, I don't understand how I will feel about it unless I experience the change in transition."
Natalie Boechel, junior psychology and health services major
"It makes me wonder if UB is going to change now. Maybe it will be for the better because there will be a new face that could bring new ideas to our university."
Daniel Martinson, senior physical therapy major
"I don't know. It doesn't affect me, so it doesn't make me feel anything."
Amanda Spencer, senior human resources major
"He is? I feel sad and I feel pity for him because he was such a proponent of UB 2020 and he will not even see it completed."
Jacob Greebel, sophomore and biology major
"I don't give a … about the president, as long as someone runs our school that's all that matters. If someone else wants to take over, then what's the big deal?"
Emily Croft, junior musical theatre major
"I didn't even know who our president was. I guess things will be different than they have been in the past six years. Goodluck to whoever takes over."
Robert Lathrop, junior computer science major
"I am shocked and appalled that our president would quit on the first day of classes, especially after all he's done to push for UB 2020. It's regrettable that our former president shows such a lack of character and perseverance."
Matthew Gibb, senior geography major
"I think his plan for UB 2020 was a good vision. It's sad he wont be able to see it through. He really put UB in the right direction"
Matthew Anguish, junior management major
"It's just strange that Simpson would wait until the first day of school, when everyone is running around getting things ready for the semester and have a million things on their minds. He could have done this at any point before the year started and I think it would have given students and faculty a much more reassuring start to the school year."
Gigi Rubin, sophomore communication major
"I didn't know much about Simpson's UB 2020 plan since I am only a sophomore, but I became informed after hearing the news. It's a shame that Simpson will no longer continue to build his plan but at least he is not leaving for the wrong reasons. It was only a matter of time due to the failure of not receiving the funds necessary to move forward with the program."
Samantha Reiss, senior pharmacy major
"President Simpson led UB to accomplish great things throughout his presidency in the past six years. We can only hope that in the future his UB 2020 plan will flourish and the school will be faced with fewer financial setbacks."
Michael Fechko, senior nursing major
"It's now UB 2030 without President Simpson. I don't blame him for retiring though."
Jamie McMurray, junior history major
"Wow! That's extremely unsettling that the president quit at the beginning of the semester. That makes me insecure about what is going to happen at the school. I hope that it doesn't effect the university' s success."
Joseph Friga, junior business major
"I didn't even know that the president's name was Simpson. I've never even seen him before. "
Alicia Musilli, senior accounting major
"I believe President Simpson's reasons for leaving were legitimate. Let's just hope his predecessor can work through the budget cuts and fulfill the hopes and dreams that Simpson had for the UB community."
Piotr Gasiorczyk, sophomore business major
"I believe he should stay because, as a student at UB, I think he needs to watch over UB 2020."
Natalie Schwartz, junior exercise science major
"I did not know that he was retiring but that makes me sad because he has done a great job"
Bryana Intelisano, junior Health and human services
"I wish he wasn't retiring because he really had a vision to make UB better"
Antoinette DiCerbo, senior social science major
"I'm kind of disappointed to hear about President Simpson's retirement. He is so adamant about UB 2020 and I can only hope his successor will be just as dedicated to improving UB."
Jeff Mann, junior psychology and health and human services major
"I was shocked to hear about the retirement of President Simpson. He's been building up UB and it's a shame he won't be President to see some of the structural completions."
Shervin Stoney, Student Association Vice President
"No, [Simpson's decision to retire] actually didn't catch me off guard. After the [Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act] didn't pass I expected he would be leaving but I didn't expect it to be so soon. I thought he would have waited until a new legislator was in, and see if he could try again with a new legislator and if it was not effective then he would leave. The way I see it is that it's not a bad decision, but at the same time it's not the decision we all wanted. I mean, everybody loves Simpson. He created the first comprehensive plan we've had in 30 years. He really changed the vision of the university and gave the university a good direction forward. I am pretty sad he is leaving [but] I don't think it's the wrong decision."
Casey White, UB Alumni ‘10
"Having graduated last year, I can't say I'm surprised he is resigning. It seemed like things were moving too slow under President Simpson, like the UB 2020 program. Maybe a fresh start is exactly what UB needs. I think it's a good thing."
Brett Schneider, UB Alumni ‘10
"I think it's bad for UB in the sense that we have to now start from scratch but good in the sense that John Simpson couldn't get anything done."
Marc Adler, Adjunct Instructor of UB School of Management and Faculty Advisor of the American Marketing Association
"President Simpson was a tremendous asset to the University at Buffalo. He became a great friend of mine through our work together in the Alumni Association and especially during his presidency at the school. I will miss him along with the energy and passion he brought to his role. It's sad he won't be able to realize his dream of UB 2020 but maybe it can be erected in the future with additional efforts. He left a very positive legacy for the University at Buffalo."
Christa M. Greenberg, Coordinator, Undergraduate Studies Program and Psychology Academic Advisor
"University Presidents average stay is about 8.5 years, so in some ways this is not really a surprise. During these economic times, I am sure that being a University President has been more than challenging and exhausting. President Simpson has worked hard at his projects and goals for the university and the Western New York community. UB is a major public research university and is not just defined by its university President. The excellent faculty, professionals and UB students and the partnerships in the community make us the University at Buffalo. It is always an adjustment when administrative leadership changes or leaves but we have excellence here and it will continue under the leadership of our next university President. It would be nice if Albany would recognize what this excellence can do for the economic growth of this area. I wish President Simpson and his wife well with this retirement."
Janice Kohn, parent of a student at the University at Buffalo
"Wow. I'm curious if this has anything to do with Albany, and the delays of UB 2020. This economic crisis is affecting everyone and everything. I hope this doesn't have an effect on the progress of the school."