Indiana University

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Last modified: Friday, February 13, 2009

$15 million gift will transform learning environment for undergraduates at IUís Kelley School

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New and renovated building will be designed to support dynamic, global learning initiative

Feb. 13, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Kelley School of Business today (Feb. 13) publicly announced a $15 million gift, which will ignite an ambitious $60 million capital campaign to transform its facilities for undergraduate students. The gift is from a graduate of the Kelley School who wishes to remain anonymous.

Plans call for a two-phase project that will dramatically transform the school's learning environment for students. The project's focus will be to create spaces that enable faculty to develop more innovative experiential teaching methods and provide students with more of a technology-mediated experience that will literally bring the world to Bloomington.

New and existing group study spaces and multi-purpose rooms will be designed to facilitate small group collaboration. They will allow professors to "bring in" guest speakers from around the globe and foster team-teaching through video conference technology. The new and renovated facilities will also enable students to collaborate more easily with peers at other universities worldwide on projects for companies and not-for-profit organizations. The new facilities will help students to develop the global and interactive business skills needed by today's graduates but without incurring the time and financial cost of traveling abroad.

"All of us at Indiana University are deeply appreciative of this wonderful gift and its effect on undergraduate students in the Kelley School," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "It will have a tremendous impact. More young people will be able to study and gain a global view in one of the nation's premier business schools, and we will be able to provide our faculty with more tools and flexibility to focus on improving the teaching experience."

"This project is more than bricks and mortar," added Kelley School Dean Dan Smith. "It's a project that will fundamentally advance the educational experience and will provide us with flexibility to create innovative teaching methods that will distinguish us from other top business schools, and above all, enable us to attract the world's most promising students and faculty.

"Technology-mediated global collaboration is fast becoming the norm in business today. The Kelley School will be on the front-edge of preparing students for this technology-supported cross-cultural work environment," he said. "In short, our new facilities will transform our entire undergraduate program."

To achieve these goals, the first phase of the project will involve a 71,000-square-foot expansion of the Kelley School's original building, which will complement the adjacent Godfrey Graduate and Executive Education Center, which was completed in 2002. Once this is finished, the second phase will begin and will involve a major renovation of the current facility.

The gift will be counted as part of the Matching the Promise fundraising campaign for the IU Bloomington campus. The goal of the campaign, begun in 2003, has recently been raised from $1 billion to $1.1 billion -- a $100 million increase. Gifts totaling $950 million have been committed to date toward the campaign priorities: scholarships and fellowships for students, especially those from low- and middle-income households; the recruitment and retention of top faculty; and the construction and renovation of facilities for teaching, learning and research.

With the lead gift for the building in hand, architects will move forward with planning, and phase one construction is expected to begin by May 2010. Once the expansion is complete, the existing building will be renovated one floor at a time and could be completed within five years.

Additional classroom space also is needed at Kelley. Current classrooms are 100 percent booked. The school -- which is increasingly recognized as one of the most highly regarded business schools in the world -- routinely must turn away 500 to 600 very capable students annually due to capacity limitations. The project will add more than 20 new classrooms, which will be designed for the school's experiential global team-based learning concept.

"But it's not just space, it's dynamic, technology-enabled space for learning in new ways, and will complement and in some cases provide an alternative to physically traveling abroad to have a global experience," Smith said. "For example, as we continue to globalize the school and the student experience, we will certainly ramp up our international visitation programs, but with the new facilities, we may be able to accomplish many of our global learning objectives without getting on an airplane. It will save parents money yet still provide students with a truly global experience."

In addition to increased classroom space, the renovated building will house a behavioral lab for researchers, a trading room with informational resources comparable to most Wall Street firms and a business communications lab.

Other improvements will be made to create a more welcoming environment for students. In addition to the traditional structured learning environments, a variety of non-structured learning environments -- places where students can meet between classes and work together on projects -- will be created. These spaces include several areas throughout new and renovated spaces, which will be equipped with power and data ports.

In addition to the small meeting areas, a new Student Collaboration and Student Commons Room is planned for the first floor. This space is strategically located at the new main entry off 10th Street and will provide an opportunity for students to meet with each other, including a collaboration room for study sessions or student meetings. A new 2,000-square-foot multipurpose room on the third floor will be used for large gatherings.

The existing building originally was completed in 1966 at a cost of $5.5 million. In 1982, construction to expand the building and to build an adjacent home for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs was completed at a cost of $18.9 million. Included in the latter project was a combined library for the two schools. Since then, facilities have periodically been improved to meet demands of emerging technologies and student demand.

The building currently has about 140,000 square feet of classroom and office space for use by undergraduate students, faculty, corporate recruiters and visitors. It houses administrative offices for the undergraduate program and eight research centers, including the Benecki Center for Real Estate Studies, the Center for International Business Education and Research and the Center for the Business of Life Sciences.

As in the 1980s, the new expansion project will help the Kelley School to sustain increases in student demand that it has experienced in this decade, said M.A. Venkataramanan, chair of undergraduate programs in the Kelley School and the Lawrence D. Glaubinger professor of business administration. Just three years ago, the school was serving about 3,500 undergraduates. Today, it has about 5,000 students at that level.

"As a top 15 business school, we're drawing exceptional students not only from Indiana, but from all over the country and the world," Venkataramanan said. "The expansion will allow us to better provide facilities befitting the needs of our exceptional student body, as well as make a world-class business education available to more students."

Thanks to the commitment of a special friend of the school, Smith believes the Kelley School can move confidently into a fundraising campaign to attract the remaining resources necessary to complete the long-awaited initiative.

"The new building, and all the promise that comes with it, is a dream that all of us share with great excitement. Due to the sudden turn in the economy, it's also a dream that has been somewhat elusive until now," Smith said.

"This gift ignites a campaign that otherwise would have been blueprints for a later time," added Rick Dupree, assistant dean of development and alumni relations in the Kelley School. "In such an abysmal economy, it's so gratifying that someone has stepped up to this level."

Dupree said the donor is a graduate who understands the necessity of the project.

"It simply wasn't going to happen in the foreseeable future without this lead gift," Dupree said. "There are many Kelley alumni and corporate partners who have been eagerly awaiting this expansion and renovation. We've never been as excited and confident about a fundraising campaign as the one we're designing now."

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