Q5 dedication ceremony for osu’s new business building this friday news stwnewspress.com gas news


Ken Eastman, dean of the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, answers questions about a dedication ceremony for the new business building, which is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday. The event, which is free and open to the public, includes a tour of the facility following the dedication ceremony.

A1: The $72 million, 147,450-square-foot new OSU Business Building allows us to learn new ways of doing things without some of the constraints of our old building. The state-of-the-art building includes 13 classrooms, 16 team/breakout rooms and more than 790 classroom chairs, the building was designed specifically with OSU business students in mind. It also includes Business Perks coffee shop which is open daily throughout the week. The technology available throughout the five-story building is among the most advanced available, including wireless presentation systems that allow students and faculty to connect and collaborate in real-time during class. Each of the building’s 13 classrooms are equipped with super-size HD 1080 monitors. Four of the new classrooms are computer-teaching classrooms, and three have lecture-capturing technology. I’ve told alumni, business partners and others in the four years since construction began on the building that if we take our old selves into a new building then we’re wasting a lot of money. In recent years, in preparation for the move into the new building, Spears Business leadership and faculty have worked together to update the core curriculum and created the Eastin Center for Career Readiness. These changes focus on ensuring that students build their professional and analytic skills, have engaging and collaborative learning experiences, get significant exposure to practice, and are prepared for their job and career.

A2: It’s very important that all OSU business students, faculty and staff are in the same building for the first time in more than 25 years. In recent years, we’ve had faculty, staff and students spread across six different buildings on both campus and across the City of Stillwater. For example, our Watson Graduate School of Management and the Greenwood Center for Online Excellence have been housed in Gundersen Hall because we didn’t have room in the old building. But by having everyone under one roof, we can build a better sense of community and better meet the needs of our students.

A3: One benefit that we’ve noticed in the few months we’ve been in the building is a greater sense of energy and community. “The Power of Personal” is the Spears Business branding statement, and it’s been fun to watch that lived out as people interact in all that the new building has to offer. We have over 5,100 students and about 275 faculty and staff, so the place is bustling. Another huge benefit has been the interaction and collaboration between students and faculty. We previously did not have the spaces for students to work together or for students to meet outside of the classroom, but the new team/breakout rooms and different spaces throughout the building now allow for that to take place. We’ve also developed “Profs Off the Clock,” in which all business students are invited twice a month to get to know Spears professors beyond the classroom. Finally, and not least, the new building is now a destination for our students. They can come to the building before class to pick up breakfast or a cup of coffee at Business Perks, go to their classes, and stick around and meet with other students to work on a group project. We are seeing it more and more that students are enjoying the amenities the new building has to offer, and they are spending more time here as we build the sense of community.

A4: We’re already seeing that the new building is a big asset when it comes to attracting new students and faculty. I have spoken to a number of prospective students and their parents after they have toured the building and they are “wowed” by the building and excited about what we have to offer. We have already seen a 16-percent increase in number of applications over this time a year ago. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Spears Business enrollment numbers reach record numbers in the near future. The reaction among prospective faculty members has been similar. We have 20 new faculty joining Spears Business this fall.

A5: It’s a difficult question to answer as there is so much I like about the new building. The classrooms are amazing – both from a technological and pedagogical perspective. They are designed to enable and encourage collaborative learning and are great environments to foster team-based education. We have beautiful conference rooms, something we were really short on in the old building. The Keystone Commons is a beautiful meeting and event space, which we have already made use of several times. What I think I like best, however, is that the building creates opportunities. Opportunities to discover new ways of working with each other, educating students, and interacting with the public. We are firmly committed to leveraging all that the building has to offer so that we embrace the future and forge bold new chapter in the history of Spears Business.