John Simpson, president of University at Buffalo and architect of the UB2020 plan, announced his retirement yesterday.
I’m sure that part of it was a desire to get back to his family – Simpson is from California, and his last position was at UC Santa Cruz (Go Slugs!). But I have to imagine that part of it was the brutal smackdown that the SUNY system received in the protracted budget hoedown of incompetence this year. A vital part of the UB2020 expansion plan was being able to control the school’s tuition and keep the apes in the state government from sweeping university revenue into their general fund. The measure to ensure these things was defeated, and UB’s budget was cut. Again.
As it says in the article, it would take a superman to keep up the good fight in the face of that.
Hopefully their new president will have the same sort of vision and outline a similar path to future relevance. Until then, SUNY will not be able to join the ranks of premier public university systems.