College and Commerce
School collaborate on new initiatives
pact includes trading spaces, construction
by Rebecca Arrington
& Sciences dean Edward L. Ayers (left) and Commerce School
dean Carl P. Zeithaml negotiated a new collaboration that
will include a building swap, new construction, and new curricular
By Kennedy Kipps
John T. Casteen III announced April 4 what he called an unprecedented
collaborative venture between the College
of Arts & Sciences and the McIntire
School of Commerce that will result in 100,000 square feet
of additional academic space and the creation of interdisciplinary
courses and programs.
the past six months, Edward L. Ayers, dean of the College, and
Carl P. Zeithaml, dean of the Commerce School, have been hammering
out the details of a plan that will include trading spaces, sharing
spaces, and building new ones. In the end, each school benefits
from an increased physical plant.
important, Casteen said, the plan will allow the College
and the Commerce School to strengthen the academic and programmatic
links between them and to better serve their undergraduate and
applaud the vision of our deans, Carl Zeithaml and Ed Ayers, to
create this exciting new model of education, he added. Their
joint venture reflects ongoing University-wide discussions that
encourage interdisciplinary initiatives and forward thinking.
Their work and their spirit of cooperation may well
become a leading example for the rest of the University to follow.
Commerce School intends to construct a 100,000-square-foot building
off the far southeast end of the Lawn. It will front on Hospital
Drive and be bordered by Randall and Wilson halls. It will connect
to Rouss Hall Commerces earlier home which
will be shared with the College as the primary location of their
collaborative programs. Commerce will integrate Rouss into its
new complex and assume its renovation and maintenance responsibilities.
The College will expand into Monroe Hall, the Commerce Schools
home for the past 27 years.
the long term, this collaboration promises to transform the experience
of students and faculty in both the McIntire School of Commerce
and the College of Arts & Sciences, Zeithaml said. We
intend to create an inspirational physical presence and to facilitate
innovation and collaboration among the faculty and students of
McIntire and the College. Both the building and the programs will
provide students with the best education possible and support
the facultys outstanding teaching and research activities.
He said that it is essential that the Commerce School maintains
its sense of place on Central Grounds and that the school continues
to incorporate state-of-the art technologies into any new buildings.
We also must make it easy for students to take classes across
departments within the University, Zeithaml said. This
exciting new series of initiatives ensures that McIntire and the
University will continue to build on a foundation of excellence
added that he was pleased to announce a $500,000 gift from 1985
Commerce School alumnus John Griffin, founder and president of
Blue Ridge Capital, to fund development of several interdisciplinary
initiatives. Griffins support reinforces his initial investment
in a fund designed to support faculty efforts to create collaborative
ventures. The increased integration of the McIntire School
into the University community is a win-win proposition,
Griffin said. Only good things can come from College and
Commerce students and faculty learning from each other.
College and Commerce School faculty are exploring several collaborative
An Introduction to Business Course. This course will center
on a multi-part business case study about the development of a
growth enterprise. It will be open to College students interested
in a broad introduction to and understanding of business concepts
and functions and may serve as a prerequisite for admission to
the Commerce School.
Interdisciplinary Courses. Interdisciplinary projects already
under development include courses in advertising and promotions
offered by the Commerce Schools Marketing Area and the Colleges
Media Studies Department. The Math Department also is working
with the Commerce Schools Finance Area to share and create
Expanded Enrollment in McIntire Business Institute and the
Summer Finance Institute. This year, the Commerce Schools
summer certificate programs will be open to rising fourth-year
students. If successful, admission may expand to include rising
third-year students. Winter break sessions also are under consideration.
An interdisciplinary minor in the College. Depending on
the availability of long-term faculty and other resources, the
schools will work together to develop a minor in liberal arts
and business management. This minor, to be offered by the College,
would draw on a combination of Commerce School courses and such
College disciplines as psychology, international relations, media
studies and economics.
course offerings and programs will create more opportunities for
College students to take business-oriented courses, Ayers said.
The arrangement is expected to lift some of the enrollment burden
in the Colleges Department of Economics, which has one of
the highest levels of undergraduate student demand in the College.
undergraduates have come to believe that business courses are
key to landing good jobs in recent years, interest in Commerce
and Economics has surged, he said. We believe that
students who seek some practical business training to round out
their liberal arts education will find the addition of these interdisciplinary
courses particularly attractive.
additional and shared space will facilitate these programs. The
new Commerce School building will enable the School to expand
its offices, state-of-the-art classrooms, and already popular
capital markets and financial trading center. While the school
initially hoped to expand Monroe Hall, the site proved inadequate
to support its current and new programs. With the new site, Commerce
will meet its 125,000-square-foot space requirement, and the College
will gain 21,000 more square feet than expected.
economics department, now split between Rouss and Wilson halls,
will occupy space in the new South Lawn complex or another suitable
serve those working in the new South Lawn and Commerce buildings,
the College and Commerce will contribute to the construction of
a parking structure in the vicinity of Jefferson Park and Brandon
avenues. Both schools also are interested in the creation of a
student commons area.
has begun to raise funds for its new building. The Colleges
South Lawn Project is being funded by a joint effort of the Board
of Visitors and the College Foundation.