LSU unveils $53M Business Education Complex
LSU celebrated the near-completion of its new Business Education Complex today with a few hundred friends, donors and officials. The facility demonstrates to the outside world that “not only do we have a great college, but we have a big-time university,” Chancellor Mike Martin says. Former Chancellor Sean O’Keefe said the project, more than a decade in the making, was the cornerstone of what became the Forever LSU fundraising campaign, which raised about $764 million in private donations. The complex was built with a first-of-its-kind [for LSU] public-private partnership, with the state paying half of the projected $53 million cost and the rest funded by private donations and a $4 million loan from the LSU Foundation; organizers are seeking an additional $7 million in donations to cover the costs. “The past does not matter,” said guest speaker Steve Forbes, who stressed that the true source of wealth is innovation. “As never before, Louisiana is open for business.” Forbes and Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater briefly mentioned E.J. Ourso College of Business Dean Eli Jones’ impending move to the University of Arkansas; Jones himself didn’t mention it. “Let’s complete the job,” Jones said. “Let’s bring in the faculty we need to complete the job.” In an interview yesterday, Jones said the size of the business college faculty has been reduced by14% since he arrived in 2008, and said stronger financial support available to Arkansas’ Sam W. Walton College of Business was a factor in his decision to move on.—David Jacobs
Editor's note: This story has been changed since its original publication.
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