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Future of UMSL Business: An Interview with Dean Hoffman

By Kathryn Todd

11150706_1000513103293917_4442681293408016002_nThe University of Missouri St. Louis’ College of Business Administration is excited to announce plans to build a new building. Private donations reached $21 million and the state matched $10 million of this amount from the Higher Education Capital Fund. Below is an interview with the Dean, Charles Hoffman, discussing this investment and the future of this college.

What will this building bring to the College of Business Administration?

The new building will accomplish a number of things:

  • Modern, technologically advanced classroom spaces will provide configurable furniture which has power for student devices, walls upon which instructors and students can write thoughts as the class progresses, recording capabilities, and the latest audiovisual devices.
  • Student Advising, both undergraduate and graduate, will be right off the lobby in spacious, modern offices so that students can more easily access sound advice on courses, instructors, and the right classes appropriate to meet each student’s goals.
  • A trading room will enable all business students to understand the stock market.
  • The bulk of the faculty will be located in one place so that students can more easily meet with them, and to enable closer faculty collaboration.
  • A large room, with adjoining kitchen, flexible furniture, and a giant video wall, will enable easy student interaction with the business community.
  • The building will have many social spaces to enable students to work and socialize together. A courtyard will be outside the main building, and the building will be connected to Express Scripts Hall with both an outdoor, covered walkway and an underground, climate controlled link.  The building is the first phase of what will eventually house the entire College of Business.  For now, Express Scripts Hall will continue to house some of the faculty and some of the classrooms.

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How long has the university been planning for this investment?

It was conceived to bring the College together from today’s scattered operations in five buildings. Fundraising began in 2007 and progressed along slowly.  As of now, we have raised over $21 million, though only about half of that is in cash available today.  Thus the $10 million from the state enables us to build the first phase, a $20 million project.  Phase 2 will add a large atrium connecting another building similar to this first phase.  Courtyard_New_no fog[1]

Who have been the main people supporting this project?

A building campaign committee composed mostly of alumni, UMSL’s Development office, and the dean has been raising money since 2007.  A building planning committee to work with the architects (Cannon Design),  composed of the dean, some staff people, one alum, campus architect, various campus engineers, and selected faculty members has refined very specific plans for the last two years. Faculty members on that committee are Drs. Joe Rottman, Jennifer Reynolds Moehrle, Ekin Pellegrini, and Keith Womer.

Cannon Design also served as the architect of the new Student Recreation and Wellness Center and there will be some similarities in the use of rounded surfaces, brick, limestone and metal. The building will be certified Leeds Silver for sustainability and efficient operations.

Who are the major investors?

Major investors include Anheuser Busch, Scottrade, U.S. Bank, Edward Jones, and Boeing. 18 individuals have also given over $100,000, and some of them have contributed over $2 million.

 Learn more about the new UMSL College of Business building

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