New Business School Building Rises as School Receives Elite Dual Accreditation

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 15, 2011) -- At a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new $64 million University at Albany School of Business building, President George M. Philip announced that the School had earned an elite distinction – re-accreditation of both its business administration and accounting programs by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Fewer than 2 percent of the world's 13,000 business schools hold a dual AACSB accreditation in business administration and accounting. UAlbany becomes one of only three public universities in New York State with dual accreditation (the other two are the University at Buffalo and Baruch College).

In their review, the accreditation teams cited the excellence of academic programs, faculty, students, alumni, corporate connections, research, fund-raising (including grants, contracts, and sponsored research), collaboration with other UAlbany colleges, and community outreach.

"This dual accreditation is yet another important recognition of the high quality of the programs offered by UAlbany's School of Business," said President George Philip. "The new building will provide an environment that matches the quality of faculty and students as it also advances UAlbany's vision to serve as an economic force for our region and New York State."

Located at the campus's Grand Entry Plaza, the new 96,000-square-foot School of Business building is designed 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.

UAlbany School of Business Dean Donald Siegel at new school building site

School of Business Dean Donald Siegel stands before the future site of the business building, scheduled to open in 2013.

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 in technological and social entrepreneurship, cyber-security, and institutional investment management, and additional graduate assistant work space. It will have a trading room on the first floor equipped with Bloomberg terminals. The building is expected to be completed in September 2013.

Joining President Philip and School of Business Dean Donald Siegel for the event were regional business and political leaders, students, and alumni.

"In granting us dual re-accreditation, AACSB accreditation teams were greatly impressed with our student quality and the high level of student satisfaction with the quality of instruction, advisement, and placement. This year alone, we placed 131 students at the 'Big Four' accounting firms of Ernst & Young, PWC, KPMG, and Deloitte. Students also secured positions at major investment banking firms and at leading Capital Region firms such as GE, Ayco, CL King, CDPHP, and Global Foundries. AACSB also noted our extraordinary success in securing external grants and contracts, which is quite unusual for a School of Business, and our ability to secure national and international recognition through rankings, enhanced alumni engagement, and the strength of our connection to the business community," said School of Business Dean Donald Siegel.

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.

Serving 986 undergraduates and 418 graduate students, UAlbany's School of Business has recently received several national and global accolades. European CEO magazine named the School of Business the Most Innovative Business School in the Northeast Region of the U.S. The Princeton Review ranked the School's M.B.A. program No. 2 in the U.S. for Providing the Greatest Opportunities for Women, and No. 13 for General Management.

"Having taught for many years at the School of Business, I am well aware of the need for a new state-of-the-art facility. I was thrilled to help secure state funding for this important project.
The new building will be of great benefit to the students. It will also be a valuable asset for the University at Albany and the Capital Region," said New York State Senator Hugh T. Farley '58, professor emeritus and former chair of the department of accounting and law.

"It is with tremendous pride that we celebrate both the groundbreaking of the University at Albany's School of Business facility, as well as the recent dual accreditation of both its business administration and accounting programs. This new, state-of-the-art, $64 million dollar facility will be the envy of other universities and is befitting of the rich tradition of excellence we have come to expect from UAlbany's School of Business. Congratulations to President Philip, Dean Siegel and the entire UAlbany business community on this remarkable achievement," said Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari.

"The new $64 million University at Albany School of Business building coupled with recent accreditation of both its business administration and accounting programs by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) will only serve to enhance the University at Albany’s reputation as an innovative academic institution," said State Senator Neil D.

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin said, “UAlbany is the economic and educational cornerstone of our community. The new business school with the elite dual accreditation is a tremendous step in strengthening the future of the University and the community. I salute President George Philip’s vision and the commitment of all of the business school staff and faculty to produce the next generation of great business leaders.”

"I applaud UAlbany on this monumental occurrence, which is further evidence of its commitment to the City and its just position as an economic driver for the greater Capital Region. The impact of this new structure will be felt for years to come, and the students it will serve will also leave a lasting impression for generations to come," said Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings '76.

Private support
More than 2,288 individuals, as well as numerous international and national firms, have contributed close to $6 million in private support for the building, toward a goal of $9.75 million in private donations. The University was allocated $54 million in state support for the facility in the 2008-09 New York State budget.

Committed to sustainable design
Designed by Perkins+Will, a recognized leader in higher education design and sustainable architecture, the new School of Business building is inspired by the existing Edward Durell Stone-designed Academic Podium and residence halls that dominate the uptown campus. The new building preserves a modernist formality of the campus’s aesthetics, with an interior featuring floor-to-floor terracing for maximum circulation and natural lighting and an exterior represented by both solid and transparent volumes.

Consistent with the University's commitment to sustainability, the building 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.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.