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Rockwell Hall at Buffalo State (Photos courtesy of the university)
Rockwell Hall at Buffalo State (Photos courtesy of the university)

Buffalo State formally recognized as a university


Tue, Jan 10th 2023 04:05 pm

Campus celebration of name change taking place Jan. 31

Submitted by SUNY Buffalo State

SUNY Buffalo State on Tuesday announced it will formally change its name from Buffalo State College to Buffalo State University, effective Jan. 15. The institution’s official State Education Department title will change from State University College at Buffalo to SUNY Buffalo State University.

A campus celebration open to all students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members will be held at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, in the Campbell Student Union Social Hall, to officially usher in the new name.

“I’m proud and excited that, after much discussion, Buffalo State is becoming a university,” Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner said. “Just last year, we celebrated our 150th anniversary and the many facets of Buffalo State’s rich history. As we look to the future, embracing the university designation is one of the many ways in which Buffalo State is aligning with the changing landscape of higher education.”

The university designation, endorsed by the Buffalo State Council, follows new guidelines from the New York State Board of Regents for what constitutes a university. The guidelines require institutions of higher education to “offer a range of registered undergraduate and graduate curricula in the liberal arts and sciences, including graduate programs registered in at least three of the following discipline areas: agriculture, biological sciences, business, education, engineering, fine arts, health professions, humanities, physical sciences, and social sciences.”

“The university designation recognizes Buffalo State’s 79 competitive undergraduate programs and 64 rigorous graduate programs, as well as the tremendous efforts the faculty and staff make on a daily basis to support Buffalo State’s mission of transforming lives,” said Buffalo State Council Chair Linda Dobmeier, Class of 1971. “As an alumna myself, I am thrilled to see Buffalo State making this transition.”

Buffalo State joins several other colleges in SUNY, as well as some private colleges, that have adopted the university designation over the past year.

Switching from college to university is expected to help elevate recruitment efforts domestically and abroad.

“We know that the term ‘university’ resonates more than ‘college’ with an international audience,” said Randyll Bowen, Buffalo State’s vice president for enrollment management. “It also informs all potential students of our academic rigor, and reflects the research and accomplishments of our outstanding faculty and the real-world experience they bring to the classroom.”

Provost James Mayrose noted Buffalo State’s academic programs are competitive with that of many universities.

“Being recognized as a university broadcasts to the world that we are an institution with a cutting-edge curriculum, unique programs, and research opportunities that fully prepare students for lucrative careers and further academic study at the graduate level,” Mayrose said.

Buffalo State was founded in 1871 as the Buffalo Normal School, a learning laboratory where children on both the primary and secondary levels were taught, and where their teachers and the instructors of those teachers learned together in the same building.

In the ensuing years, the school assumed many names: the State Normal and Training School (1888 to 1927); the State Teachers College at Buffalo (1928-46); the New York State College for Teachers at Buffalo (1946-50); SUNY, New York State College for Teachers (1950-51); the State University College for Teachers at Buffalo (1951-59); the State University College of Education at Buffalo (1960-62); and finally, the State University College at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo State College) in 1962.

This latest iteration to university bolsters the school’s focus not only on academic rigor and research, but also on access, diversity and inclusion.

“Each year, we attract a diverse body of students from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures who become engaged not only with the classroom and the campus, but also with the community as a whole,” Conway-Turner said. “The university designation reflects this.”

About Buffalo State

SUNY Buffalo State is one of the largest comprehensive schools in the State University of New York system. As a civic, urban-engaged campus, Buffalo State prides itself on having smaller learning environments coupled with large university opportunities. Buffalo State is a diverse and inclusive campus committed to the intellectual, personal and professional growth of its students, faculty, staff and alumni. Its mission is to transform lives, to empower students to succeed, and to inspire a lifelong passion for learning.

Buffalo State is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, service, scholarship, creative activity, and cultural enrichment. Students choose Buffalo State for its broad array of high-quality academic programs, diverse and creative environment, hands-on learning opportunities, affordable SUNY tuition, NCAA Division III athletics, and prime location in Buffalo’s cultural corridor.

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