President Katherine Conway-Turner delivered her Opening Year Address to the campus community Tuesday, reflecting on the “power of place” and how the City of Buffalo’s well-known traits of resourcefulness and resiliency influence and shape Buffalo State’s role as SUNY’s Urban-Engaged Campus.
“Our location, 1300 Elmwood, provides an opportunity that we have embraced and codified in our strategic plan and in our goal to advance our urban-engaged focus,” said Conway-Turner. “We are Buffalo State, we are Buffalo’s college, and Buffalo is a central part of all we do at Buffalo State.”
Conway-Turner added, “We are not only located in Buffalo; we have the resilience—the can-do spirit—of Buffalo.”
During her 40-minute address in the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall, Conway-Turner urged the campus community to continue to draw on its shared traits with the City of Buffalo throughout the collective work in the year ahead as efforts continue to enhance high-impact practices and experiences for students; support faculty and staff excellence in teaching, research, and service; and expand the college’s work in civic and community engagement as an anchor institution.
Conway-Turner also previewed how the campus community will work together to rebalance the college’s operating budget to best meet institutional priorities. Later this fall, she will announce a new campus budget communication committee that will provide opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to learn more about the structural deficit; plans to rebalance resources; and opportunities to generate new revenue through the creation of unique, market-driven programs.
After encouraging all faculty and staff members to find new ways to contribute to student success in her remarks at the fall 2016 opening address, Conway-Turner returned to the same stage this week to report on a number of initiatives and strategies that had a positive impact, citing efforts such as mandatory advising, the consolidation of student support programs in the new Academic Commons in E. H. Butler Library, and the work the President’s Committee on Undergraduate Retention.
“When the fall semester began this year, we saw we had nudged the needle and had surpassed our projected retention number,” said Conway-Turner. “We have much more work to do, but these efforts are showing promising results, and we will continue these efforts.”
Other initiatives highlighted by the president:
“We forged ahead in many areas, made many changes to further benefit our campus, and were recognized for the many things we do so very well,” said Conway-Turner. “Our collective work allowed Buffalo State to continue to strengthen the transformational education we provide—while standing for equity, justice, and social responsibility in all of our efforts.”
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