A C I F I C L U T H E R A N U N I V E R S
I T Y
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Center for Learning and Technology
brings PLU’s future into focus
A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE: This
computer-generated model shows what the Center for Learning
and Technology will look like from the front. The building
will be constructed just west of Rieke Science Center.
The Center for Learning and Technology,
the new facility that could be under construction as early as
mid-2002, will continue to develop PLU’s role as a trendsetter.
According to President Loren Anderson,
there has been a clear need for a facility “that could advance
the integration of new technology in teaching while helping to
sustain the university’s liberal arts focus.”
The university will answer this need
by provid-ing a new home for the School of Business and the departments
of mathematics, computer science and computer engineering. The
new building will also house a variety of campus offices, including
the dean of the Division of Natural Sciences, the Center for Executive
Development and the Tacoma/Pierce County Mathematics, Engineering
& Science Achievement Program (MESA).
Anderson and the planning committee
see the structure promoting interdisciplinary activity.
“Graduates who attended our PLU 2010
sessions spoke of the excellent business education they received,
but expressed regret that their education was not more oriented
to the use and understanding of new technologies,” Anderson said.
“Those with degrees in computer fields said a better foundation
in society-focused areas of the curriculum, such as business,
would have helped them.”
With the improved facilities that
The Center for Learning and Technology provides, faculty members
plan to foster this type of curricular interaction. The current
M.B.A. program in Technology and Innovation Management will be
mined for material helpful to undergraduates; programs drawing
on the theoretical capacity of mathematics, the modeling capacity
of computer science and the strategic dimensions of business are
also planned for the future.
The Board of Regents approved The
Center for Learning and Technology concept at its January 2001
meeting, and now planners are refining issues of scope and budget.
David Aubrey, vice president for development and university relations,
said Regents authorized development of construction drawings last
month. Pending fund raising progress and approval by the Board
at its spring 2002 meeting, construction is projected to begin
in May 2002, with the building open for classes in September 2003.
The project budget is approximately
$18 million, and Aubrey said already $6 million in gifts and commitments
had been secured.
The Office of Development hopes to
complete funding by the end of the 2001-2002 academic year. “In
addition to counting on the support of all friends and alumni,
we specifically are encouraging graduates of our School of Business,
department of computer science and computer engineering, and department
of mathematics to contribute,” Aubrey said, “ as well as graduates
working elsewhere in the technology sector.”
The Center for Learning and Technology
is the second major project of three outlined in the Campaign
for PLU: The Next Bold Step, which passed the $83 million mark
in May, en route to its $100 million goal. The renovation of Xavier
Hall will be complete this summer, with social sciences faculty
scheduled to move back in August. A rededication of Xavier is
planned for Homecoming weekend. Eastvold Auditorium is also scheduled
for restoration as part of the Campaign.