UB2020 Dead, Simpson Out

31 Aug

Government and public spending has, can, and should play a role in moving Buffalo forward – out of its dead industrial past and into a knowledge-based future. Our excellent public university system molds and mentors the business leaders of tomorrow. They experiment and learn. They develop ideas, products, and services that may lay the foundation for future economic growth.

So, when the University at Buffalo finds its ambitious expansion plans stymied by a dysfunctional and downstate-heavy legislature, that doesn’t just adversely affect UB and SUNY. It harms Buffalo and WNY in general. Adding billions in local economic activity and tens of thousands of students, faculty, and researchers to our area would undoubtedly be a direct and immediate benefit, while the work and studying that they do could very well provide the region with benefits for years to come. UB was asking for autonomy, yes. But it was asking for autonomy in an order to expand, and to enter into cooperative agreements with private companies – freedoms that other states grant to their state universities, reflecting the fact that the worlds of business and academia advance when they work together.

UB2020 may or may not be the answer to all of Buffalo’s ills, but, typically, we’ll never know.

15 Responses to “UB2020 Dead, Simpson Out”

  1. Jesse August 31, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    Yeah, government spending has been instrumental at moving Buffalo anywhere in the last few generations. Let’s hope this time it’ll be differe…. oh, never mind. Sorry, Simpson, good luck to ya.

    What in the world is it gonna take for us to toss the bums out?

  2. AL August 31, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    How about better bums to vote in. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

  3. AidentheCat August 31, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    I agree with your post whole heartedly. Being a research tech, any expansion of our scientific base is much needed, see medical corridor. I just wanted to point out that you have a picture of the new Buffalo Gen. Cardiac Center, not UB.

    • Alan Bedenko August 31, 2010 at 10:04 am #

      I liked the kid with the balloon, and it showed up during a GIS for “UB2020”. Either way, programs like UB2020 can help populate places like the Buffalo General Cardiac Center with people and technology. These are the GMs, Fords, and Bethlehem Steels of tomorrow.

  4. BobbyCat August 31, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    “…don’t know much about his—tor—ry…
    ….don’t know much bi—ahhh—logy….”

    And I don’t know much about UB2020. My guess is that 99 of 100 people in WNY never heard of it. Yes, I could have educated myself, but I suppose I was too lazy. But then, Mr. Simpson didn’t sell it very well either. I didn’t see any groundswell of public support for it. Maybe Simpson put all his effort into lobbying Albany. I doubt that UB2020 registered on the local public radar outside of the blogs. My point is, the public wasn’t on board the bandwagon. Simpson resigned in disgust, but some of the failure is his.

    Apropo of nothing, Sen.Bill Stackowski’s ads claim that he fought for UB2020, against the NYC pols. Isn’t the opposite true? Didn’t he abandon it?

  5. JudahMaccabbee August 31, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Yeah Stachowski is a real “Profile in Courage.” Can’t blame Simpson for bailing. Albany will never surrender the ability to generate revenue from SUNY.

  6. STEEL August 31, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    It will all be moot once Paladino gets in because he will probably just get rid of the whole university anyway

  7. Nate August 31, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    It really says something about NYS Gov’t when the man that comes from the California Public University system can’t get anything done with ease and quits

  8. Mike In WNY August 31, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    If I had written this post, the first line would have been a bit different – Government and public spending has driven away business, increased taxes, failed and shouldn’t play a role in moving Buffalo forward . . .

    Sionara Simpson.

  9. Paws August 31, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    Really Mike, how about you tell us how many major metro areas that are doing well now don’t have large state universities?

  10. Jay-Z for Governor August 31, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    The ending of UB 2020 is a huge loss for our area. As Alan said, the type of research being conducted at UB under the new proposal would spur innovation and attracted ‘knowledge’ based industry, they would become the area heavyweights of the future.

  11. Mike In WNY September 1, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    @Paws, we have a major state university, plus many other colleges, and we are not doing well. Is there a correlation I missed?

  12. Patrick September 2, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    UB2020 would have garnered much more local support and possibly state support if Simpsy Simps wasn’t always stepping on everyone’s toes!
    UB2020 was seen as a benefit to WNY, but when it came between a local and national company UB picked Zipcar over Buffalo Car Share. When UB had to get involved with communities and gaining properties, they ignorantly tried to swipe land from the McCarley Gardens. Wanted to raise tuitions, cut humanities, oh and expand the AMHERST campus. Yes a new campus was coming downtown, but UB has continually showed it’s support for UB and UB only. UB2020 was a destined failure and hopefully the next president can do something intelligent and stop pissing everyone off making me feel a tad ashamed to be a UB graduate.

  13. Jay September 6, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    For the last twenty years or more the local businessmen and media have said that WNY problems are 1. high taxes, property and income, 2. high utility costs 3. over regulation.  When UB2020 is complete after borrowing and spending $5 billion how will it solve the first three problems.  Why will the thousands of graduates stay to locate their business here?  Who will repay the borrowed money of UB2020?  With all the intellectual capital why didn’t Simpson lay out a likely estimate of tuition costs for the future?   This wasn’t a vision it was a delusion.  A lot of business people in this area saw a quick profit for themselves, 40 years ago it was scenario in Amherst.  


  1. “Interim”; it’s Latin for Git some! « WNYMedia.net - September 2, 2010

    […] UB2020 Dead, Simpson Out (wnymedia.net) […]

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