Running out of room in Holcomb

KIRSTEN ADAIR | ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR / Photos by Amy Street

The College of Business is hard-pressed to find extra space.

“If you’re talking about Holcomb (Building) as it houses the College of Business, there definitely is not enough room,” marketing professor Deborah Skinner said. “We’re overflowing with students, we’re overflowing with faculty. We don’t have enough space for the things that need to go on here to go on.”

Skinner teaches her classes in the Building of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She said she does not mind traveling to other buildings to teach because her world gets smaller when she only teaches class in Holcomb.

“I have never had a problem having classes in different locations,” she said. “I’ve never seen this as specifically the College of Business building. I teach at Butler University, so if I have to go over to Jordan for a business class I’m just as happy to do that as to have a class here.”

College of Business Dean Stephen Standifird said the growing number of students in the college and the needs that arise because of more students are partly to blame for the lack of space. He said the majority of business classes are taught in other buildings because Holcomb does not have room.

“All the soft space has been converted into offices,” Standifird said. “Right now, even if we wanted to add significantly larger numbers of students and had new faculty lines to do so, we wouldn’t have anywhere to put the faculty. We’d literally be building trailers out the back end to find housing because there’s no office space left.”

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(Photo by Amy Street) This space used to be a lounge and study area but was turned into more offices.

Accounting graduate student Cassie Rupel said that group projects in the College of Business are a big deal, but there is not a place to work with large amounts of people.

“There’s nowhere to go study,” Rupel said. “We can’t just study anywhere in Holcomb. We have to go to one of the other buildings.”

Accounting graduate student Sarah Gronowski said Holcomb has had trouble housing the College of Business for as long as she can remember.

“Half the business classes aren’t in the business school,” Gronowski said. “We’re in our masters classes and half of our classes are in Jordan and Gallahue.”

Gronowski said the addition of another building for the College of Business would be a relief to students in the college. She said more common meeting space would be very beneficial, especially to first year students in Freshman Business Experience classes where teamwork is essential.

Marketing professor Bob Mackoy said he remembers when there were more spaces for student lounges. Most of that space was converted into offices to house more professors. He said graduate students in the College of Business do not mind the lack of space because they do not generally spend all of their time on campus, but undergraduate students struggle to find extra space to study.

“The problem is less severe for our graduates because our graduates program is a night MBA,” Mackoy said. “During the nighttime we don’t have the same competition for classroom space. Also most of our graduate students have full time jobs. They come in and take their classes and go, unlike undergraduates who, this is what they do and they need space to do it. Our graduates don’t really have a problem using the space that’s available.”

Mackoy said he sees two options; the College of Business could either expand and find more space or it could limit the number of students it admits.

Standifird said the College of Business is not currently considering placing caps on the number of students admitted, but a new building is definitively an option and something the university is looking into.

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(Photo by Amy Street) Office space in Holcomb becomes crowded during multiple student meetings and meetings with career mentors.

“Space has become one of our biggest constraints in terms of continuing to grow the college,” Standifird said. “I’m anxious to solve that issue because if there is demand and there is interest in the students in terms of expanding I would be thrilled to offer more opportunities right now, we just can’t do it properly because of space. That is a big deal for us.”

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