When business students at the University at Albany begin classes this fall, they’ll do so in a new $64 million building that contains a trading room equipped with Bloomberg terminals, breakout rooms for team projects, space for corporate recruiters and state-of-the-art classrooms.
The idea, according to Donald Siegel, dean of the School of Business, is to create a place where business students can spend their day, studying, attending classes and labs and grabbing a bite to eat at the building’s new cafe.
“Students will be able to spend their entire day in the building,” he said. The old building, he added, lacked “a culture, a place where students could congregate. They had no incentive to hang out in the business building.”
On Monday, the university unveiled its new School of Business building, which has a contemporary look and feel but maintains the modernist aesthetic of the rest of the campus, built in the 1950s.
Officials hope the new building will help recruit top students and faculty to campus while also helping cultivate fruitful relationships with the business community.
Siegel said the new building is already having an impact: This fall, enrollment in the School of Business’ graduate programs will be up 17 percent from last year, with about 420 students enrolled.
The School of Business’ MBA program was recently ranked 86th out of 450 business schools nationwide by U.S. News & World Report; the magazine also ranked the School of Business No. 1 in the country for job placement, due to the fact that 100 percent of its graduates secure employment within three months of graduation.
Siegel said the goal is to be ranked among the top 50 business schools nationwide in the next five years.
“We expect our enrollment to skyrocket, but also our quality,” he said.
Siegel said the new building is bigger than the old one, and offers a lot more.
“We did not have as many classrooms in the old one,” he said. “We had no trading room. We had no cafe.”
The Bloomberg computer terminals enable users in the trading room to monitor real-time financial market data.
The School of Business is also expanding academically.
The MBA program plans to add new concentrations in finance, marketing, cybersecurity and entrepreneurship in 2014.
Also in 2014, the school will launch an undergraduate degree in digital forensics, a field that involves recovering and interpreting electronic data for use in court proceedings. It will be the first digital forensics degree offered through the State University of New York and only the third such program in the country.
Siegel said business is a growth area, and that health care, cybersecurity, finance and other fields offer opportunities for graduates.
“Many universities are training students for fields in which there are no jobs,” he said. “Our students will be in demand.”