Strategic Plan

On this page:

Our Vision

The vision of our school is to be widely recognized for creating and discovering new knowledge, for leveraging the strengths of a diverse and open academic community, and for educating leaders that advance the resilience, sustainability, health, and economic well-being of our region, our state, our nation and the globe. 

Our Mission

The mission of our school is to produce graduates capable of innovating and leading in the engineering disciplines and related fields, to conduct high-impact original research in science and engineering, and to find creative solutions to the most pressing challenges facing society. 

Our Tradition

Founded in 1946, this is the oldest public engineering school in the State of New York, with a rich history of accomplishment and innovation. 

  • We pioneered nationally adopted concepts of resilience to natural and man-made hazards. 
  • We developed and implemented protective systems that shield buildings, bridges and mission-critical infrastructure from earthquakes. 
  • We were early leaders in integrating medicine with fluids engineering and in engineering vascular tissues to deliver innovations in prognosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. 
  • We are internationally recognized leaders in advancing computational and experimental approaches to develop nanomaterials and tailor their properties for applications in drug and gene delivery, vaccine delivery, biomedical imaging and energy generation and storage.
  • We developed innovative electro-mechanical systems that eventually became digitally-driven machines. 
  • We pioneered many of the principles in the field of multidisciplinary design optimization and developed decision-based design methods leading to seminal technologies in virtual reality and design analytics. 
  • We were instrumental in advancing aerodynamics theory and practice with regional partners Calspan and CUBRC, partnerships that still thrive today. 
  • We continue to grow jobs, wealth and opportunity in our region. 

 

Our Values

  • We cultivate the joy of learning
  • We encourage and aim for excellence
  • We embrace diversity in all its forms
  • We nurture individual growth
  • We are tenacious in pursuing our goals
  • We tackle big problems
  • We inspire innovation
  • We take pride in our history and accomplishments
  • We define the future

Our Goals

  1. Recruit talented and diverse students and fulfill their educational expectations
  2. Attract and support innovative, inspiring and diverse faculty and staff to enhance productivity, impact and ranking
  3. Develop our infrastructure to support excellent educational and research experiences
  4. Expand student experiential learning
  5. Cultivate school pride among current students, staff, faculty and alumni
  6. Accelerate knowledge transfer

Strategic Context

Engineering programs across the US are in a period of growth, driven by the national and global dialogue on the need for a STEM-educated workforce, and by the very real needs for STEM graduates in our home state of New York.  In response, we currently anticipate that we will expand our capacity from 5,000 students today to 6,000 students in 2018. 

To grow yet further without loss of quality is an over-arching priority that frames all the elements of this plan.  Well managed, this growth will provide economies of scale that can be leveraged to provide a better environment for the pursuit of excellence by our students, staff and faculty.  Growth is an essential component of our planning over the next 5 years.

Behind all our aspirations is the imperative to build financial strength in the school and within the departmental units, such that new and existing activities can be funded appropriately.

Woven through these plans is evidence of the often-subtle influences that arise from the national and international university ranking systems (NRC, AAU, US News and World Reports, etc.).  These matter to us because students and their parents pay attention to them and because they provide tangible indicators of strengths and weaknesses, despite their much-discussed flaws. 

Here is how...

We recruit talented and diverse students and fulfill their educational expectations.

We engender a sense of belonging through strong interpersonal engagement with each student, meaningful engagement with faculty, and excellent advisement.  We create a culture that rewards excellence in teaching.  We invest in the K-14 student pipeline through outreach activities.  We are strategic in the recruitment of in-state, out-of-state, and international students to ensure academically rich and diverse class cohorts.  We directly connect research with learning and societal impacts.  We strongly support transitions to graduate school.  We offer professional development training programs for students to improve their soft skills to ensure success in the world.  We encourage both undergraduate and graduate students to apply for national and NY-state fellowships.  We continue to drive higher graduation rates.  We work to get nationally acclaimed scholarships for our graduate students, while attracting students who have them as well. 

We are committed to improving diversity in all forms to achieve a minimum of 30% female and 12% underrepresented minorities among our students by 2020. 

We attract and support innovative, inspiring and diverse faculty and staff to enhance productivity, impact & ranking.

We showcase our faculty and staff as thought leaders on topics of national and global significance.  We advance robust career planning and mentoring structures.  We recognize excellence in research, teaching and service activities.  We create great work environments to attract and retain highly talented faculty.  We focus on interdisciplinary problems and research that encourage collaboration.  We aim to increase our research portfolio and our publications in high profile venues.  We encourage faculty to strive toward national and international prominence. 

We are committed to improving diversity in all forms to achieve a minimum of 20% female and 6% underrepresented minorities among our faculty by 2020.  We take on BIG research challenges.

We develop our infrastructure to support excellent educational and research experiences.

We are committed to the continuous improvement of our instructional environment.  We invest in student collaborative spaces.  We create broad, multidisciplinary and flexible research spaces for all disciplines and encourage interdisciplinary work.  We provide cutting-edge, hands-on learning environments.  We embrace the use of digital teaching methods.  We develop curricula that are responsive to society’s ever-changing needs.  We partner with external stakeholders to fund infrastructure needs.  We invest in state-of-the-art shared instrumentation facilities.  We support our physical infrastructure with continued investments in strong and diverse staff.

We expand student experiential learning programs.

We continue to increase the flexibility of our degree programs to encourage more experiential learning in the forms of tinkering, internships, co-ops, study abroad, clubs and competitions, entrepreneurship activities, etc.  We will continue to expand engagement with corporate partners.  We realize, and celebrate, the synergy between teaching and research.  We support student-led experiential activities.  We emphasize the societal impact of all our research and experiential learning activities.

We cultivate school pride among current students, staff, faculty and alumni.

We engage students while they are on campus, involving them in decision-making where possible, and ensuring they have a voice.  We value all our students and their opinions.  We utilize the UB brand to increase visibility of SEAS among all our stakeholders.  We invest in and grow our student ambassador programs.  We increase communication to students, parents, alumni, and community stakeholders on points of pride via multiple communications platforms.  We incorporate outside advisory boards into our planning and value their contributions to our school.  We proudly communicate the profound impacts of alumni philanthropy.

We accelerate knowledge transfer.

We actively seek opportunities to explain our research advances to the broad community.  We foster a culture where entrepreneurship and innovation are encouraged, incentivized and rewarded.  We encourage students and faculty to commercialize novel technologies.  We engage fully with campus and regional economic development teams.  We nurture robust industry/university partnership programs to foster collaboration and knowledge transfer.  We maintain infrastructure and facilities to support industry-relevant research.  We introduce students to research, creativity and entrepreneurship early in their undergraduate careers.  We encourage high performing undergraduates to pursue graduate education.  We nurture relationships for great student job placements.  We ARE industry friendly.  We encourage more new technology disclosures and resulting ‘spin-off’ businesses.