President Tripathi delivered his 11th annual State of the University Address in Slee Hall Friday morning.
In it, Tripathi proclaimed that UB is on track to become a top 25 public research university, achieve $1 billion in research funding and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
Tripathi began his address by touting UB’s efforts to reduce environmental damage, support new faculty and students, and to have officially earned flagship status early this year.
“Whenever someone asks me, ‘Why UB?’ I respond, ‘Of course UB,’” President Tripathi said. “I would say that the flagship designation has put the wind in our sails as it underscores UB’s reputation as a premier public research university.”
But flagship-university status isn’t Tripathi’s goal. Getting UB into the top 25 public research universities is.
“Let me show you: UB’s remarkable difference will propel us into the ranks of the nation’s top 25 public research universities,” he said.
Tripathi spoke about UB’s progress regarding climate change and carbon neutrality, in line with UB’s 10 in 10 climate plan. He said the university was “well ahead of schedule” to achieve carbon neutrality by the end of the decade.
He also updated the university community on the Boldly Buffalo campaign, UB’s goal of raising $1 billion.
“Today, our Boldly Buffalo campaign has created more than 380 new student scholarships, a 75% increase in endowed shares and professorships, and $138 million in dedicated research money,” Tripathi said. “With our campaign nearing its $1 million goal, I would like to thank all of you for supporting our work on behalf of the greater good.”
The initiative had raised $650 million at Tripathi’s address last year.
Tripathi then turned to New York State’s $12 million grant for new faculty hires, which he said will allow UB to hire 70 new faculty in addition to regular hiring.
“This is an unprecedented capacity,” Tripathi said. “It will allow us to enhance our excellence and deepen our impact, because our faculty keep our students at the heart of everything we do.”
Tripathi then spoke about the university’s efforts to help the greater Buffalo community and reform social issues.
“Among the 10 people killed in the historic [Tops] rampage was Pearl Young, a member of UB’s class of 1981,” Tripathi said. “While raising three children, she worked with the elderly, volunteered at the election polls, ran a food pantry and at the time of her death was substitute teaching in Buffalo public schools. “When we gathered to recognize UB’s class of 2022, just days after the shooting, I asked the graduates to use their degree as Pearl Young did to serve others. I reminded them that they are educated and engaged citizens. They must not remain silent. They must speak up. They must act. They must use their knowledge and their expertise to combat iniquity, racism and hate.”
Tripathi ended his speech by calling on the university community to use the $1.7 million earmarked by Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state to enhance student success.
“Today I call on our university community to recommit student success to the ark of student experience, from the moment they step on campus as a prospect to the day they walk in their cap and gown as a guide,” Tripathi said. “I also believe that while we support our recent accomplishment, we can put ourselves on an even steeper upward trajectory. Admittedly, these are bold goals — however, they are not out of reach for a university of UB’s size.”
The Spectrum originally reported that UB received a $1.1 million grant for faculty hires. That is inaccurate. UB received a $12 million for faculty hires. We regret this error.
Ria Gupta is an assistant news/features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ria Gupta is an assistant news/features editor at The Spectrum.