UB Council approves naming of Granger endowed chairs – University at Buffalo Reporter

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The UB Council on Monday unanimously approved resolutions naming two endowed chairs for the late UB faculty member Carl V. Granger Jr., whose $10 million gift to the university will be used to fund the positions.

The Carl V. Granger MD SUNY Scholar of Excellence positions in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the School of Public Health and Health Professions will “honor and perpetuate” Granger’s legacy, the resolutions said.

Granger, who died in 2019, was professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in the Jacobs School. While at UB, he established UDSmr and it became the largest national registry of standardized information of medical rehabilitation. A third-generation African American physician, he was lauded for his cutting-edge research and innovation in medical rehabilitation.

President Satish K. Tripathi has announced that Granger’s gift will be used to help realize UB’s mission and values of equity, diversity and inclusion through the recruitment, retention and support of faculty and student scholars. The gift will fund university-wide diversity initiatives and student scholarships, and establish endowed faculty positions.

In addition to the two Granger scholar positions the council named on Monday, Granger’s gift will fund two additional scholar of excellence positions, Tripathi said, and $4 million will support the President’s Faculty Fund and $2 million has been earmarked to match gifts to UB that meet the standards of the Inclusive Scholarship and Program Fund. That initiative was created by Tripathi earlier this year to encourage donors to make commitments to the university in support of endowed scholarships or programs that promote the core principles of inclusive excellence: equity, inclusion and diversity.

Granger’s gift “will help UB dismantle structural barriers so we can continue to build upon a university culture that thrives on ideals of equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice,” Tripathi said.

Council member Michael Cropp, president and CEO of Independent Health, told council members that Granger had been one of his instructors when he did his medical residency at Brown University.

“I was delighted when I moved to Buffalo to find Carl here,” Cropp said. “He was the finest medical professor I ever had.”

He noted that Granger taught patient-centered medicine “long before it became in vogue.”

Granger’s legacy will lie not just in rehabilitation medicine, as well as equity and inclusion and a generous gift to the university, Cropp said, but also in the “foundation that he laid to help the field of medicine be patient-centered.”

“I’m just delighted that we had this opportunity to recognize him.”

The council also approved a resolution naming the Scott and Coleen Stevens Chair in Engineering Sustainability. The endowed chair, established with a $1 million gift from the Stevenses to help the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences recruit and retain outstanding faculty in the field, is part of the UB Scholars of Excellence Program, said Rod Grabowski, vice president for university advancement.

In his report to the council, Tripathi said there was some good news for UB in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2021-22 budget, despite the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn.

While the budget cuts state operating aid by 5% — a cut that is permanent — “we were preparing for much worse,” Tripathi said.

Like last year, the budget includes $550 million for SUNY capital projects, and extends the capital matching program, he said.

It also includes tuition flexibility for the four SUNY university centers, as well as flexibility in procurement procedures and a streamlined educational program approval process. The latter is particularly welcome, Tripathi said, because it now takes almost two years or more to get state approval for new curricular programs. According to the new provisions, institutions can adopt new programs without state approval as long as the programs do not require amendments to master plans or lead to professional licensure.

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