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New Design Positions School of Business as Hub for Commercialization, Entrepreneurship, and Community Connections

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May 10, 2010

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UAlbany School of Business building plans unveiled

UAlbany President George M. Philip, left, and Dean Don Siegel are joined by city officials and supporters as they unveil the design of the new School of Business home. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

President George M. Philip today unveiled the architectural design for the new 96,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art School of Business building at the University at Albany.  Located on the campus's main entry plaza, the $64 million building promises to serve as a hub of learning and innovation in commercialization and entrepreneurship for business students and professionals throughout the Capital Region and New York State.

Philip was joined by alumni, students and regional business and political leaders for this important step forward in the development of the facility. Construction is slated to begin this summer.

"This building design advances UAlbany's vision to serve as a vibrant intellectual hub for learning, networking and innovation. It will strengthen our many community connections and partnerships, as it fosters entrepreneurship and advances the economic vitality of our region," said President Philip. "It advances key priorities identified by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher in the strategic plan she recently released."

Student Entrepreneurs
Designed by Perkins+Will, a recognized leader in higher education design and sustainable architecture, the building will feature technologically advanced classrooms and meeting spaces, breakout rooms for team projects, expanded space for career services, student reception areas, collaborative research centers, and additional graduate assistant work space. It will have a trading room on the first floor with Bloomberg terminals.

"The new building will enhance innovation, entrepreneurship, community engagement, collaboration, faculty research, and student experience. Specifically, the additional space and improved facilities will be used to deliver new courses and programs of interest and relevance to our students and their employers. There will be dedicated space for research centers devoted to technological and social entrepreneurship, which will enable the School of Business to serve as the catalyst for effective commercialization of ideas and intellectual property at the university and in the region," said School of Business Dean Donald Siegel.

"This design for UAlbany's School of Business showcases the opportunity students will have to study at one of the most technologically advanced, environmentally sustainable facilities in the country," said New York State Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari, the second most influential member of the State Assembly. "This building will provide a truly superior learning environment to help educate future business leaders of New York."

"UAlbany’s School of Business offers outstanding faculty, exceptional students, and highly successful alumni," said New York State Senator Hugh T. Farley '58, professor emeritus and former chair of the department of accounting and law. "This new building will foster continued excellence in education and innovation, and real-world experience critical to developing successful young professionals, and will further cement the School's status among the elite business programs in the country."

LEED Innovations
The Perkins+Will design draws much of its inspiration from the existing Edward Durell Stone-designed Academic Podium and residence halls that dominate the uptown campus. The new building preserves the modernist formality of the campus’s orthogonal aesthetics in a more modern interpretation. The building's interior features floor-to-floor terracing for maximum circulation and natural lighting, with an exterior represented by both solid and transparent volumes.

Consistent with the University's commitment to sustainability, the business school's design integrates Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) measures, incorporating green building design elements to improve energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

"Situated at the main entry to the podium, the new building will define a dynamic new 'front door' to the campus. Through its simple, bold form and open, light-filled atrium, the design will create a distinctive identity for the School of Business that will literally reach out into the community. Our hope is that the new building will become a physical manifestation of the tradition of excellence for which the University at Albany is known," said Rob Goodwin, design principal at Perkins+Will.

The new building will position the school to compete more effectively with other prominent business schools for outstanding students and stellar faculty scholars, while improving teaching, learning and research environments. The University expects to begin site work in summer 2010, with completion scheduled for 2013.

Rendering of School of Business building

The new School of Business building promises to serve as a hub of learning and innovation in commercialization and entrepreneurship. (Rendering Courtesy Perkins+Will)

Private Support
More than 1,300 individuals, as well as numerous international and national firms, have contributed more than $4 million in private support for the building, toward a goal of $10 million in private donations. The University was allocated $54 million in state support in the 2008-09 New York State budget for the state-of-the-art academic and research facility.

"I commend the University and Perkins+Will for their vision in providing a transformative teaching and learning environment for the people of the Capital Region and State of New York," said Assemblyman Jack McEneny. "This building will enhance UAlbany's reputation as home to one of the finest schools of business in the nation."

Mark Boucher, Price Chopper Supermarkets vice president for operational administration who earned his MBA at UAlbany's School of Business in 2006, noted the quality and real contributions made by School of Business students.

"Price Chopper has participated in many student field projects over the years where students work on projects for us.  In one case, the students built a dynamic tool to indicate potential issues with threats due to the H1N1 pandemic.  When we know how to predict trends better than our competitors, we have an advantage," Boucher said.

"I congratulate the University at Albany for their new design for the School of Business," said Albany County Executive Mike Breslin. "Not only will the building allow for greater community engagement and entrepreneurship, but it will help make the Capital Region a destination for the brightest prospective business students."

"I congratulate UAlbany on the occasion of the unveiling of a design for its School of Business," said Mayor Gerald D. Jennings '76. "The fact that this facility will promote enhanced energy and environmental sustainability speaks to the positive impact the building will have the City of Albany and the Capital District."

Leading Business School
UAlbany is one of a number of leading higher education institutions for which Perkins+Will has planned or designed business school facilities, including the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Haas School of Business at UC-Berkeley, and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Perkins+Will, a leader in sustainable architecture, received two American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee citations for Top 10 Green Projects for 2009. This international award recognizes the best examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions.

With all its programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the School of Business is engaged in exceptional undergraduate, graduate and executive education, pioneering research in entrepreneurship, and the ethical and globally oriented pursuit of business opportunity.   The School of Business is one of only three business schools at a public university in New York State with dual AACSB accreditation in business administration and accounting.  The school is renowned for innovative contributions to the business and accounting professions through discovery, communication and the application of new knowledge. Eighty-five percent of School of Business undergraduates are employed full-time within three months of graduation and another 12 percent go on to graduate school. For the full-time MBA program, 97 percent are placed in full-time positions within three months of graduation.

In addition, the school was named among the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs most highly rated by their students, according to a report in the April 2009 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. The school is one of 15 top-rated graduate schools of business named to "Student Opinion Honors for Business Schools" in the general management category.

MBA Program
The school's MBA program also ranks fourth in the nation as a "Greatest Opportunity for Women," according to the Princeton Review's 2010 Best 296 Business Schools. The ranking determines the support structure for female students at the school, the level of business school coursework for women entrepreneurs, and whether case study materials for classes proportionately reflect women in business.

Recently, the Society for Human Resource Management, the premier human resource association, certified the School's Human Resource Information Systems concentration as one of four MBA programs in the country that meets criteria for a comprehensive education in human resource management. It is the only MBA program in the nation to incorporate information technology into a human resource curriculum. The HRIS MBA program was established in 1985.

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