UB Proposes Plan to Build Downtown Medical Campus

May 24, 2011 Updated May 24, 2011 at 3:30 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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UB Proposes Plan to Build Downtown Medical Campus

May 24, 2011 Updated May 24, 2011 at 3:30 PM EDT

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW /release) -- University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi submitted a proposal Tuesday to the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program in support of a $375 million plan to help revitalize Buffalo's economy.

The proposal calls to relocate UB's medical school to downtown Buffalo.

Under the proposal, the university will implement the next phase of the UB 2020 plan for academic excellence, spurring rapid development of Buffalo's emerging biomedical economy -- creating new jobs, spinning off new biotechnology companies and expanding educational opportunities for students.

In a statement, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo offered his support for the proposal.

"Today, the representatives of the University of Buffalo and key stakeholders in the region presented their UB 2020 proposal. It is a transformative plan that has the potential to revitalize Western New York. I wholeheartedly support it and will do everything I can to see that it becomes a reality.

UB's proposal is exactly the type of plan that state government should be supporting in Western New York and across the state. It will create jobs, breathe new life into the City of Buffalo, and help its namesake university become one of the nation's leading public research institutions," Cuomo said. "One of the reasons why the UB 2020 proposal is so exciting is because it has such broad and deep support across the region.

From the academic and research community, to business and labor, to elected and community leaders, key stakeholders across the Western New York region have come together to back this plan. This is the model my Administration will seek to replicate across the state."

According to university estimates, more than 3,000 new full-time jobs will be created in Western New York by 2018 under the proposal:

-- This includes 1,325 new jobs at UB (410 faculty and 915 staff to
support clinical care, service, teaching and research)

-- 1,740 new jobs resulting from UB's research growth (based on U.S.
Department of Commerce estimates)

-- 200 jobs in 10 start-up companies developed from university research and partnerships

-- In addition, more than 1,600 construction jobs would be created to
build a new medical school for the university in downtown Buffalo

The $375 million UB proposal, to be implemented over the next seven
years, will be financed by:

-- $35 million from the governor's challenge grant

-- $50 million to be raised in private gifts to the UB medical school

-- $50 million from private partnerships

-- $40 million in research grants

-- $100 million from UB capital and other sources and

-- $100 million from medical school program fee

The medical school project will serve as catalyst for additional
development with Kaleida Health, Buffalo's largest hospital system --
and other private and public entities -- making it a $655 million
investment in Buffalo's downtown medical campus, according to the
proposal.

UB is asking the state legislature to approve a $200 per semester tuition increase. A financial-aid program financed by the tuition revenues will guarantee minimal increases in tuition for students and families making less than $75,000 per year:

-- Tuition would not increase for families with annual incomes up to
$40,000

-- Tuition would increase $30 per semester for families with annual
incomes between $40,000 and $60,000

-- Tuition would increase $70 per semester for families with annual
incomes between $60,000 and $70,000

-- Tuition would increase $100 per semester for families with annual
incomes between $70,000 and $75,000

UB's tuition is one of the lowest among the 60 U.S. research
universities that make up the Association of American Universities
(AAU). Even with the proposed tuition increase, UB would remain one of the most affordable major public universities in the U.S.

UB already has begun moving medical research facilities to downtown Buffalo to help grow the city's heath care and biotech industry. In 2005, UB opened the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. In June, the university will open the UB Institute for Healthcare Informatics, leveraging a $15 million investment from computer giant Dell. In the fall, UB and Kaleida Health will open a $291 million clinical care and research facility.

UB's proposal was also praised by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher who, with Gov. Cuomo, developed the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program to increase the economic impact of SUNY's four university centers and strengthen educational opportunities for students.

"I am impressed by the significant planning and analysis performed by the University at Buffalo to show how it will leverage this challenge
grant to benefit students and the Western New York economy," Zimpher said. "UB and all of SUNY's university centers have tremendous potential to be even greater economic drivers in New York State. My hope is this challenge grant will give them the opportunity to do so immediately."

UB President Tripathi said, "This proposal will enable UB to
pursue its plan for academic excellence and contribute more
significantly to Buffalo's emerging biomedical economy. It will create
jobs in our community and greatly expand educational opportunities for our students.

"Our tuition proposal will give UB the means to pursue academic
excellence while protecting students' access to high-quality education, especially for the state's neediest students."

Michael Cain, MD, dean of UB's medical school, said "We have seen
post-industrial cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland and St. Louis achieve
dramatic economic turnarounds by aligning university medical centers with community hospitals to build thriving biomedical industries that improve patient care."

James R. Kaskie, president and CEO of Kaleida Health, said the momentum created by UB and Kaleida Health's expansion in downtown Buffalo would make the region a national hub for patient care and medical research.

"We have an unprecedented opportunity before us to transform our
region's economy and pioneer new treatments and innovative health care," Kaskie said.

Jeremy M. Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North Companies and chairman of the UB Council, said, "UB's proposal has earned unprecedented support in our region -- from business leaders, to legislators to students to faith-based organizations. UB's plan is a strategy for our entire region to move forward --economically, culturally and socially. A better UB will yield a better, stronger Western New York."

Robert Brady, CEO of Moog, Inc., a manufacturer of components and
systems for aircraft, space, industrial and medical applications, said,
"I've seen firsthand the value of partnering with a major research
university. Moog is investing in Western New York precisely because UB is located here and can supply us with a skilled workforce and the
innovations we need to advance our business."

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "the entire Western New York community has embraced UB's plans as our region's priority. UB's expansion into downtown Buffalo will create new jobs and open up new opportunities that can revitalize neighborhoods and improve quality of life throughout Buffalo's urban core."