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Thursday, February 29, 2024
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SUNY Buffalo State latest Buffalo-area institution to receive university recognition

The change follows a revision that loosens rules on when an institution can use the word “university” in its name

<p>Buffalo State University celebrated its name change on Tuesday.</p>

Buffalo State University celebrated its name change on Tuesday.

Buffalo State College became SUNY Buffalo State University on Jan. 15, announcing in a press release that the institution “joins several other colleges in SUNY, as well as some private colleges, that have adopted the university designation over the past year.”

The New York State Board of Regents modified the definition of “university” on Dec. 30, 2021, following a recommendation from the State Education Department, allowing more higher education institutions to call themselves “universities.” 

Since the definition changed in 2021, other institutions were approved to use the term in their names. Former colleges, such as Daemen, Utica, St. John Fisher and D’Youville have been recognized as universities.

Following the February meeting, the definition of university was changed to “a higher educational institution offering a range of registered undergraduate and graduate curricula in the liberal arts and sciences and doctoral programs registered in at least three [discipline areas].” Institutions were previously required to offer doctoral programs in at least three discipline areas to be considered a university. 

According to the Department of Education, this decision will “allow those New York chartered institutions that qualify and secure subsequent charter amendments to more effectively compete and market their programs within the state, nationally and globally.”

Buffalo State University expanded on the benefits of university designation in a Jan. 10 statement, highlighting how the name change will help with recruitment efforts, the school’s academic rigor and diversity. The university held a celebration for the name change on Tuesday.

Kiana Hodge is a news editor and can be reached at



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