Buffalo State… University

Effective January 15, 2023, SUNY Buffalo State will formally change its name from Buffalo State College to Buffalo State University (BSU). The designation, endorsed by the Buffalo State Council, requires that the educational institution adhere to new guidelines set by the New York State Board of Regents.

The guidelines require institutions of higher education to “offer a range of registered undergraduate and graduate curricula in the liberal arts and sciences, including graduate programs registered in at least three of the following discipline areas: agriculture, biological sciences, business, education, engineering, fine arts, health professions, humanities, physical sciences, and social sciences.”

“I’m proud and excited that after much discussion, Buffalo State is becoming a university,” said Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner. “Just last year we celebrated our 150th anniversary and the many facets of Buffalo State’s rich history. As we look to the future, embracing the university designation is one of the many ways in which Buffalo State is aligning with the changing landscape of higher education.”

A campus celebration will be held on Tuesday, January 31, at 12:30 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union Social Hall. The celebration, to be attended by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members, will usher in the new name, while officially setting a new competitive course for the institution.

This latest iteration to university bolsters the school’s focus not only on academic rigor and research but also on access, diversity, and inclusion.

“The university designation recognizes Buffalo State’s 79 competitive undergraduate programs and 64 rigorous graduate programs, as well as the tremendous efforts the faculty and staff make on a daily basis to support Buffalo State’s mission of transforming lives,” said Buffalo State Council Chair Linda Dobmeier, ’71. “As an alumna myself, I am thrilled to see Buffalo State making this transition.”

Buffalo State joins a number of other regional higher education institutions that have made the transition to university status. The enhanced status is deemed as a strategic way to garner new recruits, both domestically and abroad.

“We know that the term ‘university’ resonates more than ‘college’ with an international audience,” said Randyll Bowen, Buffalo State’s vice president for enrollment management. “It also informs all potential students of our academic rigor and reflects the research and accomplishments of our outstanding faculty and the real-world experience they bring to the classroom.”

“Being recognized as a university broadcasts to the world that we are an institution with a cutting-edge curriculum, unique programs, and research opportunities that fully prepare students for lucrative careers and further academic study at the graduate level,” said Provost James Mayrose, noting that Buffalo State’s academic programs are already competitive with that of many universities.

This is not the first time that the educational institution has changed its name.

Buffalo State was founded in 1871 as the Buffalo Normal School, a learning laboratory where children on both the primary and secondary levels were taught, and where their teachers and the instructors of those teachers learned together in the same building. In the ensuing years, the school assumed many names: the State Normal and Training School (1888–1927); the State Teachers College at Buffalo (1928–1946); the New York State College for Teachers at Buffalo (1946–1950); SUNY, New York State College for Teachers (1950–1951); the State University College for Teachers at Buffalo (1951–1959); the State University College of Education at Buffalo (1960–1962); and finally, the State University College at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo State College) in 1962.

“Each year, we attract a diverse body of students from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures who become engaged not only with the classroom and the campus but also with the community as a whole,” noted Conway-Turner. “The university designation reflects this.”

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