Kent State Community Meets Potential Partners for First Major Project of $1 Billion Master Plan
On April 12, future generations of business leaders got a first look at design concepts from several firms competing to develop Kent State University’s new College of Business Administration building.
Hundreds of students, faculty, business leaders and community members gathered Thursday evening in the Kent Student Center Ballroom for the first public presentation of potential design/build options for the transformational project. In an era of shrinking resources, Kent State is pursuing an innovative approach to transforming its campus without issuing debt. Development teams presented design and financing proposals for a public-private partnership with a philanthropic component, culminating in a public presentation of design concepts and potential renderings.
“Each development team brings an innovative approach and unique vision to what they see as the new home for one of the university’s cornerstone programs,” said Deborah F. Spake, Ph.D., dean of Kent State’s College of Business Administration. “The entire Kent State community has been part of the master plan process from the beginning, so it makes sense that we would offer everyone a chance to see what kind of ideas are being considered.”
The proposed new College of Business Administration building is part of the university’s Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State, a $1 billion master plan to transform the Kent Campus and improve facilities over 10 years that was approved by the Kent State Board of Trustees in March. The new College of Business Administration building is envisioned as the marquee building of the first phase of the plan’s implementation.
The college’s current building is more than 40 years old, and according to a recent study, the building has a space shortage of at least 37,000 square feet to meet the college’s needs. The demand for classroom space to teach business courses was so great that in fall 2016, classes were taught in nine separate university buildings.
The new building would include a variety of classroom and learning laboratories, faculty and administrative offices, study and gathering spaces, and common areas that will encourage greater collaboration among students, faculty, staff and business leaders. The new building will model the type of learning environment that best supports Kent State students who will become the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future.
The future building will be located on Main Street and serve as an anchor in the transformation of Front Campus, which will include a signature gateway to the university, additional green spaces and a new parking deck.
Kent State’s College of Business Administration is among fewer than 1 percent of business schools worldwide to obtain dual Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation in both business and accounting. The college enrolls more than 3,800 students and boasts 10 undergraduate majors, 14 minors and a Professional Sales Certificate program; master’s degrees in accounting, business administration (Master of Business Administration and Executive Master of Business Administration), business analytics, and economics; as well as a comprehensive Ph.D. program with concentrations in accounting, finance, information systems, management and marketing. Kent State’s College of Business Administration ranks among the top 100 public business undergraduate programs in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report and 45th in 2016 by Bloomberg Businessweek based on an employer survey of how well schools prepared students for jobs. The college is ranked as one of the nation’s Best Business Schools by The Princeton Review. The college is committed to sustainability as an advanced Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) signatory and is recognized by the Sales Education Foundation as a top university for professional sales education.