Archive for Thursday, September 22, 2005

KU’s business school may get new home

Growth is cause for excitement, but final location hasn’t been set

September 22, 2005


Kansas University's School of Business may build a new $30 million state-of-the-art facility on the scenic site of what is now Carruth-O'Leary Hall on West Campus Road.

That's one of the ideas, university architect Warren Corman said. Another plan is placing the building behind Carruth-O'Leary overlooking Potter Lake.

Corman said a goal was to keep a new facility as close to the center of campus as possible.

The school, currently housed in the decades-old Summerfield Hall, is looking for a new home as it expands faculty and programs.

"We have a lot of energy and a lot of growth in the school," said Bill Fuerst, the school's dean.

The school added 14 faculty members this year for a total of 56. And there are plans to add additional faculty next year.

The school has expanded degree offerings, adding finance, information systems, management and marketing.

Fuerst said the school was in a silent phase as it approached potential donors, and a new building was still several years away. He said a final location had not been set.

Meanwhile, faculty are enthusiastic about potential upgrades.

Business professor Bill Beedles said he still taught with chalk and a chalkboard, as he has for decades.

"Summerfield is pretty primitive," he said.

"I think our teaching would be more effective if we had a classroom environment that is more conducive to learning."

A new facility would help the school recruit more full-time MBA students, Beedles said.

Business professor Mark Hirschey said the school needed to have access to better technology.

He said he had problems getting computer lab access for some classes he teaches.

"We're really limited in what we can do," he said. "The building is a tool that you use to serve students better."

Summerfield was built in the mid-1960s.

Fuerst said the plan was to build a multidimensional building with computer labs, conference rooms and high-tech classrooms of various sizes.

"If you looked at the top 20 public business schools in the United States, almost all of them have new facilities or at least state-of-the-art facilities," he said.

Fuerst estimates the building would cost $30-$32 million. The school is seeking private funds.

Corman said tearing down Carruth-O'Leary, which was built to be a dorm in the 1950s, would require legislative approval.


Kookamooka 12 years, 2 months ago

PLEASE approve the demolition of that eyesore!! Carruth has been re-re-remodeled inside so many times it's just awful. I'm sure it's laden with asbestos. I feel sorry for the people who have to work there. It was a dorm! I think they still use window air conditioning units. It NEEDS to be replaced with a state of the art building that can meet the needs of the students and prepare and encourage our young people to keep BUISNESS in Kansas. The only thing Carruth has going for it now is the view.

Dani Davey 12 years, 2 months ago

Actually Carruth isn't that bad, I used to work in there. Plus they just finished a really nice remodeling of the front office for Human Resources. If you tear down Carruth to put in a new Business School building, where will Human Resources, the Bursar's Office and the KUPD go?

avhjmlk 12 years, 2 months ago

Why can't the Masters in Public Administration program get new space? It's the #1 ranked city management program in the country, yet it occupies only 1 dedicated classroom, and less than half of the 3rd floor of Blake Hall, which is just as ugly as Summerfield. They were denied new space last year.

Prospective students are impressed by the program's ranking, staff, longevity, and student success rate, but are turned off by the department's physical space.

Kookamooka 12 years, 2 months ago

It is my opinion, as an alumni, that all of the University Customer Service and Management operations should be centralized. Why not the second floor of Wesco? Across from strong? That space seems more adminstrative and less instructive to me. I also think it's interesting how much spare, wasted space Wesco has in it's vast concrete staircases.

Kookamooka 12 years, 2 months ago

Another point. The Human Resource division may have had a lovely remodel but the top floor is gross. Have you ever been up there? It's like they just moved the beds out and made offices. Those people still have closets in their offices! No lovely remodel upstairs!!

hawkrew 12 years, 2 months ago

Finally, the business school will have a state of the art facility. Something that will bring it back into the top 50 business schools. I hate to admit that a building is a factor in the ability to be a top ranked school but it really does. Summerfield is so old and run down, it's terrible. Too bad I won't be able to enjoy the new building but at least many more will.

hawkrew 12 years, 2 months ago

I was only in Carruth a couple of times while I was a student at KU and that was to pick up my financial aid check. I only was able to see the basement level of the building and it just seemed to be a regular office building to me. It didn't seem too terrible a place to work but I never worked there so I couldn't know. However, it definitly isn't the most prettiest building on campus, but it beats the heck out of wescoe (as all buildings do).

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