By Scott Miller
Published Nov. 13, 2009
Clemson University said today it will relocate its MBA program to the Bowater Building in downtown Greenville.
The university leased 33,355 square feet of space, about one-and-a-half floors, at the Bowater Building, which overlooks the historic Reedy River falls and park. The 10-year agreement includes an option to purchase the building.
Clemson President James Barker said that Greenville-based ScanSource donated $1 million to the effort and that the move will not require any new state funding, new degree programs or curriculum changes. It will, however, give Clemson’s MBA students a vibrant urban landscape in which to live and study, he said.
“We have a clear demonstration of support from the business community,” said Barker, who called downtown Greenville a “living laboratory” for business students.
The university has been considering a downtown location for its Masters in Business Administration program for some time. In addition to the MBA program, Clemson said it will consolidate several business programs already located downtown, including the Renaissance Center and the Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, both located at the Liberty Building on Main Street.
Business programs currently offered at University Center also will be consolidated at the Bowater Building, Barker said. The Bowater Building will house regional offices for the Small Business Development Center and Professional Advancement and Continuing Education.
“Friday the 13th is a lucky day for the city of Greenville and Clemson University,” said Greenville Mayor Knox White. “Hundreds of students, faculty and administrators will be on our streets, in our shops and restaurants day and night.”
Clemson’s presence also aids the district’s efforts to be “a serious center for commerce,” White said.
About 85 students are currently enrolled full-time in the MBA program and another 175 part-time. At the Bowater Building, that enrollment could double, said Claude Lilly, dean of the College of Business and Behavioral Science.
Curtis Puechl, president of the Clemson MBA Student Association, previously said students have been informed of the potential move and fully support it.
“It’s a great opportunity to get closer to the businesses in Greenville. Networking is a great part of what we do,” he said.
For continuing coverage on Clemson’s expansion in downtown Greenville, check www.gsabusiness.com and read the Nov. 23 edition of GSA Business.