The Gannon University College of Business and Engineering was gifted a building and will be making a move to 900 State St. within the next four years.
The College of Business and Engineering, Erie Technology Incubator – ETI – and the Small Business Development Center – SBDC – will all be moving into the building when it’s finished.
The Erie Technology Incubator portion will move in next summer. The School of Business and Engineering and SBDC will follow when construction is finished.
“This is an opportunity to create synergy between all the groups, which can result in faculty and student businesses being created, students and faculty helping entrepreneurs, young businesses grow and prosper right here in Erie,” W.L. Scheller Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering and Business, said.
The business school is also in the process of making changes to its curriculum, which will be more integrated and reflect how the business world works now and in the future, Donna Mottilla, Ph.D., director of the school of business, said.
Ten different business majors will be combined and called the Bachelor of Science in BusinessAdministration degree starting with the class of 2014.
Also, two new programs will be added to the school – health care management and supply chain management.
“The growth of both health care and supply chain management have increased 22 percent since 2012 and the salaries are significantly higher than some of the other fields that were reviewed,” Mottilla said.
A new program will be added to the college called SAP, an enterprise resource management system that collects all the data that an individual company generates in the process of doing its business. The college will be joining an SAP alliance with a group of universities that use the same program in its classrooms to teach students.
The new building will be beneficial to the college in the future, Brittany Batts, a junior sports management and marketing major, said.
“The new building shows that Gannon is will to invest in the future of business students and will show future students how serious Gannon is about the Dahlkemper Business School and also the engineering school,” Batts said.
The new building was donated to Gannon by previous owner William Schettine, who has no relation to the university, but wanted to see Gannon expand in the center of Erie’s business district, Scheller said.
Currently, the building houses several businesses not affiliated with Gannon.
The new building will be a challenge for the city of Erie initially because of taxes, Eric Brownlee, Ph.D., assistant professor for management, said.
“It is beneficial in the long term because a newly renovated building will help Gannon attract students from outside the area,” Brownlee said. “These students provide a significant amount of new economic activity for the area and this is very important for an area that has been declining in population for many years like Erie.”
Alexandra West, a senior sports management and marketing major, said the new building will be good for Gannon.
“I believe the transformation could make Gannon into a university that’s not only drawing in many health science majors, but a place for students to gain a good education in the various business programs that are available,” West said.
The new building will have a space called The Business Stimulation and Integration Lab. There will be numerous TVs and computer screens, with moveable furniture so students can work in groups around the computers, but also detach themselves and work at their own pace.
Other possibilities for the building will be areas for students to congregate during classes and also a snack bar or café, which will be decided by Metz Culinary Management.
Mottilla said she is excited for the upcoming changes, which she thinks will allow the business school to reach its ultimate potential.
“I’ve only been here for two years, but I’m so happy for the faculty in the business and engineering school to finally have a better environment to teach in and our current and future students to learn in,” Mottilla said.