HU School of Business lives up to bountiful numbers

By Briquell Welch                                                                            

Hampton University’s School of Business has been at the frontier of all the schools at the university in terms of gaining a large number of gifts and donations.  According to the dean, the school receives about $700,000 worth of gifts a school year and averages $400,000 in scholarships to business majors.

However, these impressive numbers have not made an impact on its image. The school of business is located in Buckman Hall, erected in the early 1960s, and is one of the older buildings (not including the historic ones) on the campus.

The school houses approximately 950 to 1,100 students a year. Buckman is about 22,000 square feet and 18,000 square feet—or about 80 percent of the space was used by students and faculty. The leftover space is taken up by equipment and computers. 

“We are a little cramped but we make it work,” said Sid Howard Credle, dean of the school since 1999. “We only have two floors and two bathrooms for 900 (plus) people.  It is difficult.”

The building has been used for the school since 1967. During rain, the building leaks on the inside and heat and air conditioning are not adequate for the building.

Some students believe a new building would just be a greater image of who the students are that are a part of the school.  “When you look good, you feel good,” said senior business management major Lauren Gilliard. “If we had a new building while I was here, it would have been appreciated because we do so much in these buildings and it just does not go with the image that we portray when we go out for interviews and conferences.”

The school prides itself on having an extremely high rate of graduates that goes immediately into the work force and does very well.  “About 67 percent of the students enter in to Fortune 500 companies upon completion of graduation and about 15 percent return home to run family businesses (entrepreneurship majors),” said Credle.

These numbers however may not be working in the school’s favor.  It appears that even though building conditions are not up to par it is not stopping the students or faculty from making sure that every student becomes successful, winning case competitions, receiving scholarship money, winning excellence awards etc.  This works against them because now it raises the question amongst the university’s officials, “Well why does the school need a new building with impressive numbers like those,” said Credle.

The question can not be answered any one way because individuals want or believe the building is deserved for several reasons.  5 year MBA major Amber Sillmon said, “I would love to see a new building.  People do not understand we come inside on rainy days to get out of the rain and still have to deal with it–inside the building. That’s a problem.”

The new project is $10 million that has been in the development stage since 2004.  Developers have come out to discuss the building, but with the fall of the U.S. economy came the fall of the plans for the school. The idea was placed on hold.

But there is one thought in question sophomore MBA major Calvin Stephens asked, “How can the university build so many other buildings since 2004 and not work on a building that is much more needed than say the new cafeteria? It seems as though the priorities of the university are somewhere else and not where they should be for the betterment of the student body”. 

 “A new school could only help us,” said senior business management major Angelina Jordan. “If we were in a new building we would not have to worry about a lot of the issues that we do now. For example, the leaky roof or the smelly halls in the building just isn’t a good look.  This building is stuffy and we are just over due for something new”.

But whose support and backing does the school really need?

The dean needs the help of alumni, the undergraduate and graduate-level students, university officials, and the companies’ financial support for this dream to come true. 

There is no specific ground breaking date; however, there are a number of plans for a look and new location for the building. Right now the building is just an idea, but the students and faculty in Buckman Hall deserve some reality.

The writer is a senior at Hampton Univerity Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.