By Gabriella Pisano ’18
Classes for the Spring 2017 semester have officially started and the new Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies is being used. The campus of Providence College may seem to be ever changing with all of the structural advancements occurring, but academics still remain at the heart of PC’s mission.
In 2012, the Providence College School of Business (PCSB) was awarded accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB.
With only 30 percent of business schools within the United States, and five percent worldwide holding this status, the accreditation of PCSB proves that the school is advancing.
In addition to the accreditation, PCSB ranks No. 61 on Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2016 list of the top undergraduate business programs. Providence College attributes much of the School of Business’ success to the College’s 2011 Strategic Plan. This plan “positions the School to be a national and international model for practice-based curriculum that builds on the College’s expertise in the liberal arts and virtue ethics.”
Students and faculty can see the changes that have happened, as Dore Hall became the Ryan Center, but what cannot yet be seen is how the new Center for Business Studies is affecting the academics of PC.
With most of the academic buildings being on upper campus, the placement of the Ryan Center on lower campus works to make lower campus a more central location for students.
With the closing of Huxley Avenue, the upper and lower campuses were unified more than they had been in the past. Now that there are three academic buildings on lower campus, students are expected to spend more time there than before.
Much of the structure of Dore Hall remains and houses the faculty and administrative offices within in the School of Business. The front part of the building is home to classrooms, collaboration pods, and open spaces for studying.
The abundance of open space provides many places for students to study. While the Ryan Center is for Business Studies, all students are welcome to use the space. The building was designed to “foster engaged, values-based learning that will lead students to a lifetime of success in business and in life.”
Associate Dean of the School of Business, Dr. Daniel Horne, stated, “With the technology we have in the world today there is an integration of ideas. Business alone isn’t enough, there is a need for liberal arts. The official dedication of the building has not yet taken place, but classes are already in session.”
Students are already taking advantage of the new space available to them. Simran Madhani ’18 had her first class of the semester in the new Ryan Center. Madhani stated, “Having my first class of the semester in the Ryan Center was definitely something I was looking forward to! With the innovative technology and all the natural lightening in the spacious classrooms, both professors and students were in an exceptional setting to have a productive class experience.”
Business classes used to take place in buildings such as Feinstein. Many of these classes are lecture style in which the professor stands up front and lectures to the students.
Dr. Horne stated, “The Ryan Center encourages an active learning style. The classrooms are designed to be interactive. While the ‘sage on the stage’ method of teaching was popular in the past, interactive teaching is more effective.”
Victoria Palmer ’18 commented on a classroom in the Ryan Center, stating, “I liked how the classroom was spacious and bright. It was nice to be an environment where the desks weren’t extremely close together and cramped. The whole building had a really welcoming vibe and everyone was so excited.”
PCSB is continuing to develop, and the new building is proof of this. Dr. Horne stated, “The focus was always on teaching. Now, we’re shifting the focus from teaching to learning.”