Business and leadership schools are designed for flexibility, open space

Diebold University’s new School of Business and Leadership will be located in Harrison Hall The physical space will be an open, inviting place with flexible classrooms that can be used for different learning and teaching styles.

“Whenever you think about space, you want to put people first, so understand the needs of faculty and students, not just faculty,” said Dave Berque, vice president for academic affairs. “Business schools and Leadership schools, but teachers who may already be teaching in Harrison Hall or planning to teach in some newly renovated spaces — really, really matter.”

Representatives from Studio Ma, a self-styled people-focused architecture firm from Phoenix that are designing the space, were in Greencastle in late August to hear from university leaders, staff and students on how to adapt to modern learning and create the space Welcome people from campus and special guests from DePauw.

“It takes a lot of very careful listening, a lot of questions and a lot of interaction to really understand what people really want to see in their spaces,” said Christiana Moss, principal of Studio Ma.

She said her company hopes to “instill all the ideals and goals of the business and leadership school” into Harrison Hall. “We’ve been focused on what space can do” conveys the new school’s emphasis on business leadership and ethics.

Moss and two colleagues heard from 13 students who took part in the hour-long class and emphasized the need for individual study spaces and their desire to create a warm rather than industrial tone.

The school will share the space of Harrison Hall with academic departments already housed in a three-story red brick building from 1938. A team of university leadership decided that flexible classrooms could be used by any academic department. Can be configured for lectures, group collaboration or any other learning style. Classrooms will be equipped with wireless technology and 12 Bloomberg terminals, which will enable students to use research tools and facilitate collaboration.

One common area is available to the entire campus, not just students in the School of Business and Leadership. An atrium with an extended ceiling will mark the connection between Harrison’s disciplines and bring light into the building.

The business school and leadership academy will launch next fall as part of the Bold & Gold 2027 strategic plan announced in March. It will be one of only four business schools in the nation, ranked in the top 50 liberal arts colleges, and the only one in the Midwest.

Partial demolition of Harrison Hall will begin in December, with construction scheduled to begin in January.

Burke said the location and related architectural decisions of the Harrison School of Business and Leadership School were intentional so that students would neither feel isolated from the campus nor more elite than students in other disciplines. After researching the experiences of other institutions, DePauw tried to avoid business and leadership students identifying with their school rather than the university as a whole.

University leaders also wanted the architecture to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of DePauw. “One of the tenets of the academic renewal portion of the strategic plan is to focus and strengthen the liberal arts colleges,” Burke said. “That means what happens in the College of Arts and Sciences will have an impact on shaping the School of Business and Leadership and the School of Creativity. … Neither of these new schools will operate in silos.

They will be integrated with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which means we need to think holistically as we develop spaces. “

See more about school design in this video.

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