The University at Buffalo (UB), The State University of New York (SUNY)

Professor and Fellow of the Rudy Bruner Center for Urban Excellence


FOR URBAN EXCELLENCEDepartment of Urban and Regional Planning
School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo (UB), The State University of New York (SUNY), invites applications for the position of Professor and Fellow of the newly endowed Rudy Bruner Center for Urban Excellence (RBC). UB seeks an Advanced Associate or Full Professor candidate with tenure in the Department of Regional and Urban Planning with a preferred start date of August 21, 2023. The RBC is a school-wide enterprise that reports to the Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning. The Professor and Fellow will have a tenure home in the Department of Planning.

The department seeks a visionary and collaborative individual to further develop and help implement RBC research and sponsored program agendas. The Professor and Fellow will serve as the RBC Director of Research with partners including the UB Regional Institute, the university libraries, and colleagues in the Department of Architecture, the Real Estate Development program, and departments throughout the university. The Professor and Fellow will have a strong record of research and academic accomplishments, dedication to strong educational programming, and is responsible for expanding the research profile of the department, growing collaborative relationships, and nurturing programs and departmental faculty activity. The position is a 11-month appointment with teaching, research, and service responsibilities with dedicated time for educational, strategic, and research initiatives.

For more information about the department (including its mission and vision statements), visit


• Ph.D. in Planning or closely related field

• Associate (mid or late) or Full Professor level with tenure

• Demonstrated record of research excellence (e.g., successful sponsored research proposals and publications in top-ranked and field-relevant journals)

• Research project management experience including, but not limited to, preparation and overseeing budget management, supervising personnel, etc.)

• At least five years teaching experience, with strong capacity and potential for outstanding teaching contributions, including planning studio and seminar courses, at the undergraduate and graduate levels


• Democratic and collaborative style of leadership; someone who leads with high levels of transparency and strong listening ability; the candidate can foster a culture of inclusion and belonging for faculty, staff, students, alumni, sponsors, and community partners

• Distinguished record as a scholar in urban planning or a closely-related field commensurate to the rank of an advanced associate or full professor

• Understanding of the changing and interdisciplinary nature of planning and urban placemaking

• Demonstrated leadership in and engagement with the national and global planning profession/discipline with a particular emphasis in urban design and finance

• Ability to represent and advocate for the RBC within the school and university, and external partners

• Understanding for support practices that foster successful community engagement

• Experience advancing equity, inclusion, and diversity in higher education or an urban planning environment

• Ability to mentor early career faculty, especially those who are under-represented minorities (especially in supporting career faculty to succeed in promotion and tenure)

• Experience recruiting, retaining, and graduating students (undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate levels), especially those who are marginalized in higher education

• Demonstrated evidence of obtaining competitive extramural funding (e.g., NSF, NIH, USDA, etc.)

The Rudy Bruner Center for Urban Excellence promotes innovative thinking and conversation about the role of design in cities. The RBC seeks out and shares the stories of creative and inspiring urban development to increase understanding of the complex process of enabling beautiful, just, and resilient places. The RBC builds on the work of the Rudy Bruner Award (RBA) for Urban Excellence, initiated in 1985 as a national design award that has recognized and documented 88 transformative places in the United States that have contributed to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of their communities. The knowledge accumulated through the RBA over 37 years of investigating urban development in the U.S. is a resource for research, learning, discussion, advocacy, inspiring new ideas and solutions.

The new RBC will offer a platform for ongoing inquiry and exchange about the built environment and cities and is a resource for anyone interested in urban development. The RBC engages a broad and diverse audience of educators, practitioners, and students through publications referencing the Collection, awards, research, and educational programming.

The new RBC will manage an accessible, curated, and active RBA Collection housed with the University at Buffalo libraries. And it will run programs according to principles derived from the RBA Program while remaining open to new learning opportunities from reflection on annual work plan reviews that will address the RBC\’s mission and vision. The RBC is resourced with a five-million-dollar endowment delivered over the next three years and anticipates educational and research grant awards that complement its mission. It is in the very early stages of development with initial resources for start-up in place since January 2023.

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning at UB, one of two departments in the School of Architecture and Planning, is committed to training planners who are prepared to plan and design places that ensure just and equitable futures for people. Strategic plans for the Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program and the entire school call for centering racial equity and social justice both in what is taught and how about cities and regions.

Under the leadership of former University President Martin Meyerson, a trained city planner, and former Dean John Eberhard, an experimental prefab architect, the school established one of the first environmental design programs in the United States with the stated mission of creating students capable of “remaking the social landscape.” This publicly engaged model of practice has been institutionalized into the educational offerings of the department; the investigations of multiple research centers and labs (Center for Urban Studies, Community for Global Health Equity, Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab, the IDEA Center, UB Regional Institute, and the Just Institutions Lab); and its visiting fellowship programs (i.e., the Will and Nan Clarkson Visiting Chair and the Jammal Fellow). Learn more: View a selection of work by the students and faculty in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

The department currently includes 12 tenure-track and 23 non-tenure track faculty who engage in action-research in the City of Buffalo, New York, as well as in cities in the Global South (e.g., in Ghana, China, and Jammu and Kashmir). The impact of faculty members’ action-scholarship and students’ work – through nationally recognized studios – is discernible in Buffalo’s fabric (including in its historic Black East Side neighborhood and the neighborhoods that are home to New Americans on the city’s West Side). The research enterprise is supported by external sponsors including the Foundation of Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, and others (The Department regularly ranks among the top of its peer programs in the Association of American Universities for sponsored research activity, according to data reported by Academic Analytics.)

The department offers undergraduate, Master’s, and doctoral degrees, with current enrollment standing at 265 as of Fall 2022. The undergraduate degree in environmental design (BA in Environmental Design) is one of the country’s earliest programs exploring the links between environment and design. Graduate degrees include the accredited Master of Urban Planning, Master of Science in Real Estate Development, Master of Science in International Development and Global Health, and additional dual/joint degree programs. Students in the doctoral program in urban and regional planning pursue a variety of interdisciplinary areas of research. The department has grown significantly in the past five years, with 40 percent more students today at the undergraduate level and 20 percent more students at the graduate level – due to enhanced recruitment efforts and diversified program offerings.

Outside the classroom, students engage in research and civic action through student clubs (e.g., The Graduate Planning Student Association, the African American Students of Architecture and Planning and the UB Real Estate Club) and benefit from a rich array of public programming at the School of Architecture and Planning, including weekly lectures from visiting scholars and practitioners and the annual Atelier event and public exhibition of student work. Professional and alumni networking events – including the annual Career Trek NYC program – as well as career webinars and engagement with professional organizations such as the American Planning Association, Urban Land Institute and the NYS Association for Affordable Housing cultivate diverse career pathways for students. Alumni have distinguished careers as academics, civic leaders, and practitioners, and several have been honored with national and global awards (including a Fulbright awardee, Truman winner, Ford Foundation fellows, and RWJF Culture of Health fellow.)

The School of Architecture and Planning is one of the country’s premier research and educational programs in the built environment professions. Situated within UB, a flagship of the SUNY system, is among the top public universities in the nation. It is a vibrant and inclusive community of scholars and practitioners who work across the disciplines and in partnership with allied fields to shape more just, resilient and enriching communities for all.

Next-generation leaders prepare to mobilize design and planning solutions on the wicked problems facing cities today – from the climate crisis to inadequate housing to place-based health inequities. With deep-rooted traditions in hands-on, activist teaching and research, inquiries are ground in real-world settings, from the resurging urban landscapes of Buffalo to communities around the world. This distinctive “city-as-classroom” approach translates ideas into built works and realized plans that improve communities and forge diverse pathways into practice for students. A professional school situated within a top public research university, the school pursues teaching and research that pushes at the boundaries of knowledge and practice. The school’s transdisciplinary research enterprise positions its departments in Urban and Regional Planning and Architecture at the center of UB’s nationally regarded research in inclusive design, food systems planning, community-based economic development, climate action research and affordable housing. Such ambition and collaborative agility have positioned faculty at the top of peers in the Association of American Universities for research on the built environment.

The School of Architecture and Planning is a progressive community at a transformational point of growth. Last year, the 50th Anniversary was celebrated and welcomed the largest and most diverse cohort of new faculty in a decade. New academic and research programs in global health, international development, affordable housing and historic preservation are preparing graduates for wider spheres of practice and possibilities for innovation and impact. Meanwhile, the renovation of Crosby Hall, the hub of the studio-based learning experience, will reopen to faculty and students in Fall 2023. The School of Architecture and Planning is also preparing to launch an international search for its next leader, after the recent announcement that Dean Robert G. Shibley, FAIA, FAICP, SUNY Distinguished Professor, will step down after more than 10 years of visionary leadership that has elevated the prestige and profile of the school, generated historic growth in its academic and research enterprise, and expanded its engagement and impact across Buffalo and into new communities across New York State, the nation and world.

More information may be found here:

A flagship institution in the SUNY system, UB is the largest, most comprehensive campus in the 64-campus SUNY system and an internationally renowned center for academic excellence. Impactful research, scholarly distinction, transformative student experiences, and far- reaching service to local, state, national, and international communities define UB’s mission as a premier research-intensive public university. UB was founded in 1846 as a private medical college located in downtown Buffalo and joined SUNY in 1962. In 1990, UB was the first public university in the Northeast to be admitted into the Association of American Universities (AAU), joining North America’s other leading research universities. UB was recently selected by the NIH to receive the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), and the School of Dental Medicine (SDM) is an active participant in that award.

UB enrolls over 30,000 students (approximately 2/3 undergraduate and 1/3 graduate and professional students) and offers nearly 400 degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, professional and doctoral levels across its 12 decanal units. UB is a global community of scholars consistently ranking among the nation’s top 20 universities for the enrollment of international students. The university enjoys a strong international presence, maintaining affiliation agreements with over 80 universities in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa. UB’s approximately 290,000 alumni live in over 150 nations worldwide.

UB has a distinguished faculty of approximately 2,500 members and more than 150 research centers and institutes. UB’s current annual research expenditures, including affiliated institutions, is nearly $400 million. The libraries hold four million volumes in eight libraries and provide access to 100,000 full-text e‐journals and 800,000 e-books.

Recognizing the key role that a vibrant 21st century physical campus environment plays in enhancing education, research, and learning as part of the UB 2020 vision, UB is implementing a long-range plan for enhancing its North, South, and Downtown campus spaces and connecting them more effectively to their surrounding communities. UB’s North Campus, located in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst, is the university’s main undergraduate campus, and home to the university’s primary athletics and cultural facilities. Three miles to the south, on the northern edge of the City of Buffalo, is the university’s historic South Campus, which serves as the primary health sciences campus. UB also has a rapidly developing third campus center in downtown Buffalo. The focal point of UB’s downtown presence is the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, on which UB’s new medical school facility was opened in the fall of 2017.

With annual revenues that exceed $1.2 billion from all sources, UB and its affiliated entities generate an estimated economic impact of $2.18 billion annually in New York State. The university’s total workforce of almost 6,800 full-time equivalent employees makes it one of the region’s largest employers. UB is also a leader and an active partner with the more than 20 public and private colleges and universities in the Buffalo Niagara region.

More information may be found here:

As a world-renowned research university, UB’s intellectual capital and innovation are playing a vital role in Buffalo’s resurgence as a thriving city that is a magnet for the talented professionals, artists, entrepreneurs, and innovators who recognize the tremendous energy and momentum gathering here. Home to one of the nation’s fastest growing populations of college graduates, the Buffalo Niagara region, located on the shores of Lake Erie, with 1.5 million residents, is the state’s second largest major metropolitan area, exceeded only by New York City. The region includes a diverse blend of communities, each with its own distinct personality, yet commonly characterized by a distinctly neighborly way of life, an unpretentious nature and spirited loyalty among residents. Buffalo’s own strong sense of community, easy lifestyle, and affordability regularly place it in top ten lists from a variety of national publications; its overall quality of life has led to the city being affectionately nicknamed “the City of Good Neighbors”.

Buffalo offers an impressive array of cultural and recreational opportunities uncommon for a region of its size. Buffalo’s rich cultural resources reflect its distinguished history and a commitment to sustaining the arts, including the Grammy-Award winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; the world-class collection of modern paintings and sculptures at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; an extensive array of historic architectural treasures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan, and Eero and Eliel Saarinen; and an expansive park system (including Delaware Park), considered to be the very best work of designer Frederick Law Olmsted. The city is home to the state’s largest concentration of theaters outside of New York City. Buffalo is a family-friendly, livable and affordable city, with Niagara Falls, one of the major tourist attractions of the world, and Toronto Canada a short drive away. Buffalo is close to two significant wine growing regions – Niagara Escarpment and the Finger Lakes region. In addition, the Adirondack Mountains are a half-day’s drive from Buffalo. Rich in natural resources and beauty, the Buffalo Niagara area is a four-season region that offers the best for seasonal sports enthusiasts. UB fans enjoy a full complement of NCAA division I sports with the UB Bulls, as well as the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Triple-A baseball’s Buffalo Bisons, and the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits.

Buffalo’s resurgence is making national headlines, and UB is playing a central role in the creation of a strong, sustainable knowledge economy and thriving entrepreneurial culture that are driving this revitalization. Buffalo is experiencing a period of tremendous progress and momentum as well as unprecedented regional investments in the industries of the future and in the assets that ensure a satisfying quality of life for all its citizens.

More information about the Buffalo Niagara region may be found via the following link:

Applications should include a letter of interest and curriculum vitae. Applications and nominations will be accepted until the position is filled. Confidential review of materials and screening of candidates will begin immediately. Harris Search Associates ( is assisting UB for this search.

Please send application to an email address below or contact Jeffrey Harris, Managing Partner or Peter Rosenthal, Senior Consultant for further details.

Jeffrey Harris, Managing Partner
Tel: 614-798-8500
Cell: 614-354-2100

Peter Rosenthal, Senior Consultant
Tel: 614-798-8500
Cell: 585-406-4199

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