The Nebraska Board of Regents approved plans for a new $84 million College of Business Administration building, making way for one of the most significant events in the history of the college, and largest academic building project in recent history at UNL.
The announcement, coinciding with a 25.4 percent first-time freshmen enrollment increase at the college this fall semester, reflects the strategic vision of Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business Administration, to build a world-class college of business. Plowman believes the new building is essential in achieving that goal.
“Building a state-of-the-art facility will help us attract world class faculty and students and will help us establish a major footprint in the Big Ten, home to some of the best public business schools in the world. To achieve our enrollment goals, we need state-of-the-art facilities and more room to teach more students,” Plowman said. “The new building will provide all of the things that our students need to graduate from CBA best prepared for the modern work force.”
UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman reiterated the need to increase enrollment at the university by 5,000 students in the next four to five years. Overall enrollment for the College of Business increased this fall by 4.5 percent. First-time freshmen and transfers were an important focus in the college’s recruiting efforts which have expanded in the last year.
“Our main focus is to make sure students feel welcome and hear the message of what the College of Business Administration has to offer. Through personal phone calls by faculty, administrators and students, and other targeted efforts, we let transfers and high school students know that they belong here. This new building will provide a central area for our students to learn, study and meet others,” Plowman added.
She believes that CBA is gaining a stronger presence on campus with its new minor in business that rolled out this fall, which is available to any non-business students. The new building will serve not just CBA students but the entire campus.
Current CBA students are excited about all the new students and the new building as well. Senior business administration major Jake Daberkow of Madison, Neb., said, “Between classes now, I have to add an extra 10 minutes just to get down the hallway as there are so many students. That is a great thing though as they bring a positive, new excitement to CBA. The new building has added to that excitement as well and it’s great to be a part of that. CBA is the place to be.”