UB was a private university from 1846 until 1962, when it merged with the State University of New York system. The already mature University at Buffalo was a direct beneficiary of New York’s aggressive investment in public higher education, and grew in size and ambition at a remarkable pace. This public-private heritage has endowed the university with a special character: Its strong professional schools give it the organizational profile of many eastern private universities, while its public charter gives it the spirit of many of the nation’s land-grant institutions.
As a comprehensive research institution, the University at Buffalo supports faculty working at the forefront in such diverse fields as earthquake damage mitigation, the neurophysiology of hearing, assistive technology for the elderly and disabled, the application of artificial intelligence for document recognition and analysis, the relationship between periodontal disease and systemic health, structural biology, photonics, and many others. Expenditures of external grant funds for research at UB in 1997–98 exceeded $120 million.
The School of Dental Medicine is located on the university’s South Campus, in the northeast corner of the City of Buffalo. The university’s main campus for most of the twentieth century and now in the final stages of becoming its health sciences campus, the South Campus is connected to the city center and the waterfront by Buffalo’s light rail line. Along with the School of Dental Medicine, the South Campus is the home of the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and the School of Health Related Professions, as well as the future home of the School of Pharmacy. Also on the South Campus, the Health Sciences Library provides a world-class support facility for the research and academic activities of UB’s health sciences schools. The university’s North Campus, located three miles away from the South Campus, houses most of UB’s non–health sciences division