Jay Tokasz, The Buffalo News
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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.


The University at Buffalo enrolled 4,045 first-year students this fall, the university's largest ever freshman class. The larger freshman class is part of a strategy that began in 2015 to grow overall university enrollment by 2,000 students. University officials said they were getting closer to that goal. http://buffalonews.com/2017/09/16/finding-fewer-local-students…

I leapt gracelessly from a rickety board into a swimming hole as dark as ink and emerged at the surface with one distinct thought: I don't ever remember the water being this cold. A sign introducing hikers to the natural pool at Robert H. Treman State Park said the pool temperature was 66 degrees on this late August morning, but what that feels like upon first splash is…

VILLAGE OF FREDONIA – Alec Brown laid chest down on the grass and plunged his arm into the hole, reaching as far down as possible by sticking his head in, like an undecided groundhog. Brown, in denim overalls and a bright orange T-shirt, emerged with a scoop of soil from three feet deep and tossed it onto a mesh sifter to find clues of how this site at the edge of the…

Charles E. Joseph Augustin describes himself as a person of adventure and exploration. So when choosing a college, Augustin was determined to get out of Brooklyn, with one caveat: He was on a public college budget, and only a State University of New York campus would fit the bill. "I wanted to go as far away as possible from my home, while staying in New York," he said.…

At freshman orientation each summer, Hilbert College President Cynthia A. Zane made a point of telling new students that she looked forward to the privilege of handing them their diplomas in four years. Zane delivered a similar message again this past August, but with a subtle change. She left herself out of the equation, instead telling students that Hilbert College would…

Baha'i singers, a Congolese choir, Hindu classical dancers and klezmer musicians are among the performers slated to participate Sunday in a special event to celebrate the region's diversity of faiths, belief and culture. The Network of Religious Communities, Western New York's largest interfaith organization, is sponsoring "Faith Songs, Spirit Voices," a multi-faith and…

The State University of New York Board of Trustees on Tuesday appointed a veteran college administrator as interim president of Niagara County Community College. William J. Murabito, who has worked for more than 30 years in SUNY institutions and at the system administration level, will start Oct. 16. The appointment is effective for one year or until the post is filled …

The University at Buffalo climbed two spots in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings, joining two other State University of New York campuses at No. 97 on the list of "Best National Universities." UB was one of six universities at No. 97, including Rochester Institute of Technology, Stony Brook, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the Universi…

Daemen College is embarking on an ambitious campaign to raise $22 million for campus improvements, academic enhancements and endowed faculty posts and scholarships. Daemen President Gary A. Olson announced the college's first-ever comprehensive capital campaign at a gala event Friday night. The college already is three-quarters of the way to reaching the $22 million goa…

It was April of 2016, and the jig was about to be up for longtime University at Buffalo administrator Dennis R. Black. UB President Satish K. Tripathi needed to meet with Black, but the vice president for university life and services was traveling again somewhere and unavailable. Tripathi wanted to know why Black was out of town so often, especially since he wasn't subm…

Dennis R. Black, the former longtime University at Buffalo vice president who resigned unceremoniously last year, pleaded guilty Thursday morning in State Supreme Court to felony charges that accuse him of stealing $320,000 from a university-related bank account. Black spent stolen funds on an assortment of luxuries and personal expenses, tickets to see James Taylor, L…

Erie Community College's new president has a message for students who are undocumented immigrants: He understands their fear and supports them. College presidents around the country issued statements objecting to the Trump administration's rescinding Tuesday of a federal program that allows young undocumented immigrants to live, work and study in the U.S. without fear o…

The private foundation that raises money for scholarships, capital projects and student activities at Erie Community College is working to rebuild its board of directors, following the abrupt resignations in mid-August of more than half of the board's members. The trustees resigned in protest over the firing of Jeffrey Bagel, an ECC vice president who oversaw the founda…

Dan Hocoy, embarking on his first semester as president of Erie Community College, called on faculty and staff to embrace change and join him in creating a new ECC. "The new ECC for me is releasing ourselves, liberating ourselves from the learning of the past," Hocoy said in his first address to faculty and staff since taking over as 11th president on July 5. Hocoy, who…