Currently there exists a proposal that the Hankamer School of Business (HSB) facilities will undergo some remodeling. From how it sounds, the building will include an addition of two extra floors on top of the current 5 story tall Cashion building.
There is no question as to why this is needed. The undergraduates overwhelm the facility occupying all rooms possible leaving the graduate business students little to no room. In true business style, a survey was sent to the students asking for feedback as to how to best utilize the addition of two more levels of floor space. Unfortunately though, the survey did not ask the real question that needs to be answered, why don't we just build a new business school?
Hankamer which was built in 1959, went through a similar remodeling period in 1988 when the addition of the 5-story tall Cashion building was added to accommodate the need for additional space. So you ask yourself, why is the proposal to build up (all 2 floors that is) and not build new like Baylor did back in 1988 with Cashion? Well, that question this author cannot answer but this author can provide some reasons as to why Baylor should build new and not up (on top of Cashion that is).
- What is 2 floors going to accomplish? Yes, it will give some additional space but is the benefits of the extra space worth the cost of building up?
- Re-energize the business school. HSB has numerous distinguished facility, nationally ranked business programs yet a business school that many students feel is overlooked by the administration. There are countless reasons why a business program for any university should be near the top of the priority list. Business schools are where a university produces the next corporate executives. Executives who will then be able to donate personally, or through their company, large sums of money to a university. Furthermore, name recognition of a university, as this WSJ article alludes to, is largely tied to overall recognition of that university's business school.
With this in mind, no single example is better than that of the Law School. Once Morrison Hall was the home of the Law program which for comparison reasons was ranked similar to that of the business school. But now look at the program. Baylor Law Program rivals that of the top 10 law programs in the nation. Since the addition of the new Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center in 2001, Baylor Law has become a yearly host to the Texas Supreme Court, Baylor Law School hosted President Bush's 2002 Economic Forum, hosted Programs for Texas Prosecutors and much more. When a university has great facilities, people want to use it. It's that simply. People do not want to use a building that looks like it has been "bandaged up" in an attempt to accommodate the need for more space.
- Vision 2012, the vision of the university for the current and coming years ahead has out of the 12 imperatives 5 that directly tie to facilities and why the business school should build new and not up.
Imperative I -Establish an environment where learning can flourish. Now yes, the Bloomberg room is amazing but when there exist graduate level class that in the first few weeks of class, students had to literally sit on the floor (yes, no chair) because their wasn't room for the student in the class is unfortunate. It disrupts learning and inhibits in-class discussion, which is a critical learning element for any graduate level class.
Imperative III - Develop a world-class faculty. Just imagine how much easier it would be to recruit distinguished facility if we had a great building. Large offices and classrooms delights the eyes of any professor.
Imperative IV - Attract and support a top-tier student body. A similar argument is made about imperative IV that was made for Imperative III. Students more now than ever are looking for top academics, as U.S. News & World Report indicate, as a reason to choose a university over another. And if one university has recognition for having a top facility, that's even more reason why that student would choose Baylor.
Imperative VII - Provide outstanding academic facilities. Now there isn't a more explicit reason why to build a new facility for the business program than this imperative. Imperative VII directly details why providing top facilities for facility, staff and students is important. And this imperative should not be under valued.
Imperative XI - Emphasize global education. With new business facilities for students, Baylor would more easily be able to host international exchange students. And in turn, Baylor would be able to send students to those corresponding schools in return.
It's amazing how such an event as building a new business school can transform an entire university. It is for those reasons listed above why this student strongly believes in the idea for Baylor to Build New, and Not Up for the Baylor Business program.
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