Confidants of incoming Governor Kathy Hochul have asked University at Buffalo officials to begin preparing legislation that designates it the flagship campus of the State University of New York system. The legislation is intended to include the construction of several new specialized engineering schools, hundreds of thousands of square feet of laboratory space, startup incubators, and wide-ranging campus improvements.
The legislation is being dubbed UB 2030 and it’s expected to include capital investments upwards of $3.5 billion over the next decade.
Hochul believes that the research university is the engine of Western New York’s innovation economy and wants to make substantial investments to cultivate nationally preeminent expertise in specialized disciplines — including nanotechnology, lifesciences, energy, and transportation.
And she wants those new engineering schools to be postured to cultivate and commercialize new technologies, with the objective of spawning dozens of student-inspired start-up companies every year.
It’s envisioned that those startups would grow from campus incubator spaces to off-campus office parks in Western New York, and will then scale up with long-term permanent facilities in communities across New York.
“UB students are from every corner of the state, and many of their start-ups are destined to revolutionize their very own hometowns,” explains one Hochul confidant.
The legislation will also include a policy provision that any student in New York State graduating in the top 3% of their graduating class will be offered admission to the University at Buffalo automatically without application.