Buff State’s ‘Roar in 4’ initiative a smokeshow

Dave DeLuca, Executive Editor

There are few things that grind my gears more than being jealous.

But when it’s the University at Buffalo I’m jealous of, that REALLY grinds my gears.

Four years ago, UB laid out its “Finish in Four” initiative aimed at guaranteeing full-time students graduation in four years, provided they keep up with their grades, see an academic advisor, and prioritize school over work. If the school is at fault for a student not graduating on time, the school will pay the cost of tuition.

But more importantly, UB invested nearly $7.5 million in hiring 150 additional instructors and added more than 300 courses.

Fours year later – or rather four years late – Buffalo State announced a similar initiative.

In December, Buffalo State laid out its “Roar in Four” initiative, built to guarantee students graduation in four years. The college promises that if a major course is not available during a student’s fourth year, the college will cover the bill of taking that class next semester.

The almost exact language UB used. But how much additional money is Buffalo State spending to meet the course demands of enrolled students?


No additional hirings were said to be in the works. No additional courses. Buffalo State should get prepared to start fronting tuition costs in 2020, when this fall’s freshman class enrolls at 1300 Elmwood Ave.

I’m not saying Buffalo State should be throwing around nearly $8 million like big bad UB, but at least make a concerted effort to bring upon some change.

There’s an ample amount of reasons why so many Buffalo State students struggle, and eventually fail to graduate in four years. One might believe it has something to do with the number of students, and course demands, right?

Plus, UB made sure to make its low four-year graduation numbers a priority, when its rates are nowhere near as severe as Buffalo State’s.


In 2013, UB’s four-year graduation rate was 52 percent. And Buffalo State’s? An embarrassing 25 percent.

TWENTY-FIVE percent.

Sure, the campus’ infrastructure continues to get a facelift. Added dorms are on the way. A new off-campus apartment complex will break ground next month. But what’s being done to fix the overall value of a Buffalo State degree?

From personal experience, registering for classes is a nightmare. Not enough major classes are offered to keep up with students’ demands. Take two of my upper-level communication courses for instance – COM400 and COM405. Each course offers just one class per semester (with one meeting during Bengal Pause when classes are not supposed to be held).

The classes are designed just for upper-level communication students, but offering just one class makes it extremely difficult to get into. It’s not the professor’s fault, it comes down to the resources – or lack thereof – that each department is given.

Buffalo State is in over its head with an increasing enrollment. Until the college does something to supplement that, the laughable “Roar in 4” initiative won’t fix its embarrassing four-year graduation rate.

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