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You’ve heard President Hurley discuss college efforts to develop a New Buffalo Institute (NBI), which appears among the goals of Canisius 150: Excellence, Leadership, Jesuit – the strategic plan for Canisius College.  The intention of the NBI is to facilitate programs, collaborations and creative initiatives that build upon exciting, new developments in the Buffalo region and also address the persistent challenges and injustices in our community.

A task force was formed last fall to build-out the conceptual framework of the NBI and to begin to identify the goals and objectives of such an institute.  While that plan is still in formation, the following were identified as key areas of interest:

  • Buffalo Promise Neighborhood
  • Buffalo Public Schools
  • Refugee or immigrant populations or organizations working with new Americans
  • Hamlin Park Neighborhood
  • Entrepreneurship and emerging opportunities in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
  • Sustainability

As part of its work, the task force held a series of meetings with members of the Buffalo community to gain insight and input as to what the college might do in these areas.  The task force also recognized that members of the campus community have many excellent and long-standing relationships in the areas of interest, either through academic programs, research initiatives, service or volunteer work, and that the NBI would benefit from learning about their experiences and involvements.

To make progress on this, we invite faculty and staff to share their experience in working in the areas of interest by completing a Campus Connections Survey available on the New Buffalo Institute wiki site.  We hope the responses will tell us where people are involved, the type of work they are engaged in, and ultimately help us to coordinate our efforts and maximize the impact of the NBI.  Using the input from our campus community, we also intend to map our connections – something that has never been done at the college before – to visualize our network, help us understand how we are influencing the community and inform the NBI planning process.

The survey is brief but if you have a long list of connections that you would like to share or any questions or concerns about the project, I welcome you to contact me to discuss them further.

On behalf of the NBI Planning Task Force, many thanks for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

Submitted by: Erica C. Sammarco, associate vice president, assistant to the president