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Jay Tokasz

Jay Tokasz, who covers higher education for The Buffalo News, has spent 24 years in newspapers, writing on a wide range of subjects, from evidence-tampering cops to papal elections. He previously worked for the Ithaca Journal and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.


Buffalo

Long before Stephen E. Still became a millionaire, University at Buffalo officials quietly cultivated him as a potential major donor. "They'd say, 'Gee, are you free for a coffee?' " recalled Still, a 1976 UB alumnus. "There was no expectation to bring your checkbook or anything, but it started to create a relationship." The years of casual coffee klatches in the Was…

Education

This chronology shows highlights of eight years of progress and setbacks that ended with Erie Community College opening a new $30 million science building on its North Campus in Amherst. April 2010: Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins announces that the county will borrow $7.5 million in 2012 for a new academic building at Erie Community College's North Campus, i…

Amherst

A long-awaited $30 million science building that opened in January on the North Campus of Erie Community College is the most expensive single construction project in the history of the college and the first new freestanding building on the Amherst campus in decades. Maybe now the wisecracks will stop about the campus looking like a glorified high school. The project …

Featured

A Catholic priest has been removed from his assignment in Lewiston following a sexual harassment allegation. A complaint against the Rev. John Paul Bahati was lodged in late November. Bahati, 48, was serving as associate director of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Lewiston. A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bahati was ordained to…

Local News

Ecologists and conservationists have a plan to restore the Niagara River Gorge to its original habitat for native plants. The first part of the plan is to rip out all of the plants and trees that don't belong. And now, after more than a year of cataloging the plants, the dirty work is about to begin. Like gardeners pulling weeds in a flower bed, work crews later this…

Business

St. Bonaventure University Provost Joseph Zimmer likes to say that if the university had been founded by nuns instead of friars, it would have had a nursing school since its beginnings. Catholic nuns, of course, were once the bedrock of health care delivery and education in Western New York. Now, in turbulent times for higher education, those colleges and universities w…

Education

A year after criticizing private colleges and universities for charging "exorbitant tuition rates," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo now proposes eliminating $30 million in unrestricted state money those institutions use to provide more financial aid for students. Presidents of some private colleges – still frustrated by Cuomo's move last year to bring free tuition to public colleg…

State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson has recruited a University at Buffalo administrator to serve as her chief of staff. Teresa A. Miller, a member of the UB law faculty and the university's first vice provost for equity and inclusion, was named on Tuesday to her new post in Albany, where she also will serve as vice chancellor for strategic initia…

Local News

Student volunteers will run a new emergency medical services squad at Daemen College. Emergency 911 calls on campus will now get dispatched to the newly formed Daemen College Rescue Squad, as well as to Snyder Fire Department and Twin Cities Ambulance. The new squad goes into operation this week, with the start of the spring semester. It has a dozen students who are …

Local News

Kim Diana Connolly knew almost immediately that the University at Buffalo School of Law should play a role in Puerto Rico's recovery from a devastating hurricane. Television images of the Sept. 20 storm revealed that Puerto Ricans would need plenty of disaster relief assistance very quickly. But Connolly, a professor and vice dean who directs the law school's clinical l…

Education

Buffalo winter storms are as renowned as its wings and weck. But what will happen to the region's weather as the earth turns warmer? Does that mean less snowfall in the future? Or could the area's infamous lake-effect snows pile up even higher? A University at Buffalo researcher thinks the answers to those questions, or at least the clues, can be found in the unlikel…

Local News

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo only briefly mentioned higher education in Tuesday's budget talk, a year after he enlisted U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders to help announce a free college tuition plan that garnered national attention and became a centerpiece of budget talks in 2017. Cuomo said he will continue to fund “phase two” of the Excelsior Scholarship program, which covers tuition …

Local News

A vice president of Hilbert College has been elected as a commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a regional accrediting organization for colleges and universities. Richard J. Pinkowski, Hilbert's vice president for business and finance since 1990, will serve a three-year term. Pinkowski, a certified public accountant, has been a finance re…

Local News

A Medaille College employee is being investigated by Buffalo police for an alleged theft of more than $10,000. Matt Carver, Medaille's vice president for business and finance, filed a complaint with police earlier this month stating that an employee in the college's admissions office used a college corporate credit card to make unauthorized personal purchases from Octob…

Local News

Canisius College facilities workers are planning a rally on campus Tuesday afternoon to protest proposed cuts to their retirement benefits. About 60 members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 200 in November voted down a contract offer from the college. It was the second tentative agreement voted down by members in the past several months. The workers…