The University's Graduate School of Business (GSB) plans to construct a $127 million mini-campus on the former Woodward site to provide more space and facilities to its students and faculty. The new campus will provide 60 percent more space for working and relaxing during the academic year, and will be equipped with classrooms, study space, student activity areas, faculty offices, research space, support services, a restaurant, and a winter garden.
The move to revamp the business school campus area is looked upon as a way to improve the social scene among the students and facilitate more interaction among peers. The GSB has lacked the space required for students to build a community atmosphere of young professionals; currently, the school is spread out through Edelstone, Rosenwald, Stuart, and Walker halls.
"It is not a new image that we are acquiring," said dean of the GSB Edward Snyder. "Our students interact a lot already, and the new building will be a huge plus to the school."
Snyder said that student interaction was not the only benefit of such a facility on campus and that the new building would affect the lifestyles of students as well.
"It is going to be a big improvement. Currently classes start at 8 a.m. The new building will allow for later commencement of classes due to more available space, and provide leisure facilities in the course of the day," Snyder said. "There's no real central place for students to work on campus. They are busy professionals, and to have a place outside of class where they can work together would be great. The new architecture and classrooms would provide a spectacular place to work."
The construction of the GSB campus will help to foster a small community of skilled business professionals. The approximately 900 students who are on campus on any given day will be able to utilize their peer resources more, and networking among peers will be better facilitated.
"The GSB probably has the most flexible curriculum at any major business school, with a lot of second-year students taking classes downtown at the Gleacher Center. That process will continue, and the students will now have a lot more flexibility in terms of movement and work space also," Snyder said.
Recently, the GSB moved up in the U.S. News and World Report rankings from ninth to sixth place. Snyder believes in selling the school on its academic clout.
"I would characterize the B-school approach as : We're really high quality, and we're going to let the market figure it out. We've got phenomenal students, phenomenal alumni, I think we have the best faculty in the world," Snyder said. "We are the most critical thinkers on the planet. That's great, but I also think we can combine that with an attitude of being more positive and engaging."
Snyder heads the movement to constantly improve the standards of the school and create a personal teaching atmosphere that is challenging and inspiring. He brings a personal touch to his position as dean of the GSB; he is the first dean in over 15 years to teach a course in the school.