A new building for the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business marks a new era of business management education for the global economy, the school's dean told a crowd gathered for a groundbreaking Tuesday.
Dean John Seybolt said the new C. Roland Christensen Center, which will cost $9 million and is scheduled for completion in January 2000, will be a crown jewel of the business school. The building is designed to bring to life the kind of teaching necessary to prepare business leaders, he added.The new building will be west of the Francis Armstrong Madsen Building as an integral part of the business school campus. Included in the design is six case discussion rooms, student team discussion rooms, breakout rooms and informal study areas, an executive leadership center and an MBA research and technology center.
The building is named for C. Roland Christensen, the Robert Walmsley University Professor Emeritus at the Harvard Business School. Christensen is known as the "master of the discussion method of teaching." The method encourages students and professors to engage in the learning process through analysis of case studies.
Spencer F. Eccles, whose aunt Emma Eccles Jones donated $15 million to the business school seven years ago, said the building will be built with funds from 550 gifts ranging from $5 to $2 million. He thanked Ian Cumming for this $2 million gift and vision in getting the project under way.
Cumming, a member of the Utah Board of Regents and Chairman of Leucadia National Corp., proposed naming the center in honor of Christensen. He was Cumming's professor at Harvard.
Building namesake C. Roland Christensen, who traveled from his home in Nashville, Tenn., spoke at length on the qualities of leadership.
"The wise leaders strive for excellence; the novice leader seeks perfection," Christensen said.
Leadership, he said, involves an ability to be tough-minded - to live with criticism and to absorb heat. Leaders cannot avoid it. "The more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer," Christensen said.
Christensen, often called the "patron saint of teaching," said history is recorded by days, weeks, months and decades, but is remembered in moments.