Building for the Future - First Look Fall/Winter 2017
December 21, 2017
In higher education, keeping up with the competition is the same as being behind the competition. In order to be a step ahead, the University of Mount Union’s current strategic plan, Compass 2021, focuses on a number of initiatives, one of which is to cultivate an innovative and expanding academic environment. One way this is being addressed is through renovations to the Engineering and Business Building (EBB), a facility that truly illustrates mount union’s commitment to the liberal arts, real-word experience, and preparation for success.
The University’s programs in business and engineering are growing, and they will soon outgrow the EBB within which they are housed.
Today, 250 of Mount Union’s roughly 2,000 undergraduate students are majoring in programs housed within the Department of Economics, Accounting, and Business Administration, and 200 more are pursuing minors in business, accounting, or economics.
The engineering program has grown rapidly in the past seven years as well, now serving 170 students in its ABET-accredited programs in civil engineering and mechanical engineering. In addition, the University has launched three new engineering majors – electrical engineering, computer engineering, and biomedical engineering – which are slated to begin in the fall of 2018.
It is not a coincidence that the Department of Economics, Accounting, and Business Administration and the Department of Engineering are in the same building.
One of the four pillars of an exceptional engineering education at Mount Union is integrating engineering knowledge with essential business skills. As part of the engineering curriculum, third-year students in the department partner with business students to design prototypes for products that solve a problem. In the spring of 2017, such prototypes were presented to members of the community and industry leaders at the first ever Engineering Design Expo. This showcase of interdepartmental, hands-on work allows new research ideas to come to life and offers real-world opportunities before students enter the post-graduate workforce.
Plan for the Future
To properly accommodate and maintain adjacency and synergies between its programs in business and engineering, Mount Union has developed a two-fold plan for growth.
In Tolerton and Hood Hall (T-H), which connects to the EBB, engineering classrooms, labs, and offices will be created through a significant renovation of space that will be vacated by moving the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and Department of Mathematics to other quarters on campus. The engineering program will, thus, operate in both the EBB and T-H.
“During the 2010-2011 Academic Year, Mount Union began renovation of its former sciences facility, now known as the EBB, converting it for use by the University’s Department of Economics, Accounting, and Business Administration and the then-forming Department of Engineering,” said Greg King ’89, vice president for university advancement. “The plan has worked well, as both departments have experienced growth and we find ourselves in the enviable position of needing additional space to help support their programs.”
A dramatic addition to the EBB of roughly 7,000 square feet, visible from the Quad area at the heart of the campus, will provide needed space for a large business classroom suite. It also will provide auxiliary space that may be used, as needed in the future, for additional business faculty offices, group study areas, or maker space as the overlap of business and engineering is fostered. In addition, several business program classrooms and seminar rooms in the EBB will be renovated and updated with appropriate equipment and software.
As the University takes significant steps to increase the quality and impact of its business and engineering programs, this renovation and addition will provide students with the modern facilities needed to enhance their learning.