Celebrating a new year and our return to campus

Message from Dean Robert G. Shibley

Hayes Hall.

Published October 7, 2021

Welcome, all. After more than a year and a half of mostly remote instruction, we are together again, eager to learn in place. This is reason to celebrate. To those of you who are new to the School of Architecture and Planning, we're so glad you are here. To our returning students and our faculty and staff, thank you for your dedicated efforts to prepare for the new year and embrace the full return to campus. We are ready. 

TA's prepare to assist the professors for the upcoming years freshman studio.

TA's prepare to assist the professors for the upcoming years freshman studio. Photo by Isha Bubna

A special thank you to those who organized and participated in last week's successful orientation program for incoming students, featuring tours of our facilities, treks through Buffalo, tutorials, and faculty meet-and-greets. The energy and excitement of students beginning their academic journey was inspiring for us all. The festivities continue with the return of our annual School-wide Welcome Back Picnic on Monday, August 30. All students, faculty and staff, please join us at 12 noon on the lawn behind Hayes Hall for this celebratory event featuring food and live music. 

While uncertainty remains, UB is poised for a successful and safe semester ahead. Let's continue to demonstrate care and discipline in adhering to UB's health and safety guidelines so that we may remain together, in a safe and vibrant learning environment. We will adapt as needed and urge all members of our community to stay informed, prepared, and safe. Please visit UB's COVID response website for the latest guidance on masking requirements, the student vaccination mandate, surveillance testing and UB's Daily Health Check for on-campus students, faculty and staff.


We're pleased to announce that our annual lecture series returns to Hayes Hall with a mix of in-person and virtual lectures considering the socio-spatial dynamics behind today's most pressing global issues. Our 2021-22 series, "Looking Askance," kicks off Sept. 22, with a (virtual) lecture by architect Alison Killing, who will discuss her investigation of the vast network of detention camps in China's northwest Xinjiang region. Stay tuned for details on the full lineup. Thank you to our faculty lecture committee, led by Hadas Steiner, for curating a powerful program.

We’re proud of all that we have achieved as a School – and the world is taking notice. Our faculty are nationally ranked in research and at work on the ground from Buffalo to India to the Congo. We have achieved distinction in our nationally accredited Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Planning programs, and are translating our community-as-classroom model on the global stage. Our mission to mobilize action on the grand global challenges of the day, including climate change, racial justice, global health, and so much more, continues to drive unparalleled experiential learning, boundary-pushing research, and transformative community impacts.   

Yes, we’re ready - ready for the new year, ready to learn together, ready for this moment. Let the journey begin. And remember to celebrate why you’re here, and all that we accomplish together. I look forward to seeing you next week.

Best wishes,

Bob Shibley, FAIA, FAICP
Dean and Professor