New Home for College of Business Administration Opens

The University of Illinois at Chicago introduces the new home of its College of Business Administration, featuring state-of-the-art classroom and learning technologies.

The innovative facility — a renovation of Douglas Hall — transforms the existing building into classrooms and flexible, open spaces to invite collaboration between disciplines and among faculty and students.

Situated in the center of the East campus, the 24,000-square-foot building’s collaboration hubs, breakout rooms, classrooms, and conference rooms foster collegiality, providing an ideal setting for small-group learning while serving as a home base for students. The location also brings administrative offices for CBA’s Liautaud Graduate School of Business to the heart of campus.

The building will be dedicated Aug. 24 at an outdoor, invitation-only, grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. at 705 S. Morgan St., featuring Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares, Interim Dean Michael A. Pagano, donors, alumni, faculty, students, staff and guests. Mini-tours will follow. Media are welcome.

“We are proud to have such an optimal, user-focused environment that will provide practical learning labs and innovative work spaces for our current and future students,” said Michael A. Pagano, interim dean of the College of Business Administration. “Douglas Hall, with its adaptive classrooms and market training lab, reflects the CBA’s dedication to be ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving business environment.”

Experiential Learning

Today, flexible, small group settings characterize many business school curriculums, where students work through challenges and problem-solve together. The striking, three-story building’s classrooms, breakout rooms, and mini-conference rooms — called collaboration hubs — will give students unprecedented1 24-hour accessibility and flexibility in tailoring spaces to meet their teaching and learning needs while putting educational technology at their fingertips. Students can gather to study, socialize and network, while staying plugged in to their work. The building environment invites collaboration similar to the workplace they will one day occupy.

Latest Technology

One of the centerpieces of the business school is the market training lab. The lab will offer a realistic and functional trading floor similar to what might exist at a broker-dealer or proprietary trading firm. The space employs workstations linked to financial databases so students can learn how to analyze data in the context of a trading environment. What makes the lab unique, however, is that the data will also be used in market simulators, ticking analytics, trading engines, and smart order routers. These will be programmed by students with faculty guidance to experience trading strategies and theories in action. This combination of in-depth simulation, theory, and interaction capability is unique.


The university commissioned The Architects Enterprise, Ltd. to design the adaptive reuse of Douglas Hall at a projected cost of $11.7 million. Construction began in June 2010. Renovation involved gutting the entire structure and removal or precast concrete and glass, as well as the roof. The building provides an ultra-modern environment while preserving the original concept of Walter Netsch’s mid-’60s Brutalist design, which defines UIC’s campus.

Douglas Hall is immediately southeast of University Hall, between Halsted and Morgan streets. The building is flanked by Lincoln Hall and Grant Hall. Its bold exterior of gleaming glass walls and concrete is both contemporary and warm. Ample, communal spaces establish a welcoming atmosphere for students and facilitate the kind of informal interaction among faculty and between faculty and students that reinforces the College of Business Administration’s mission.


The building reflects the university’s sustainability initiative. UIC is striving to obtain a LEED Gold Certification for the new Douglas Hall. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized certification system developed by the United States Green Building Council for sustainable buildings. It is the council’s leading rating system for designing and constructing energy-efficient buildings. The renovation follows Green Building Guidelines for State Construction, which applies to all new state-funded building construction and major renovations of existing state-owned facilities. Features include geothermal wells, solar panels, and automated interior lights, water savers, and automated cooling/heating features.

A New Landscape

With the capacity for 21st century technology, flexible learning spaces for collaborative learning, and the latest in classroom technology, the newly renovated Douglas Hall is a progressive building that fosters teamwork, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit. Douglas Hall will stand as a vibrant symbol of UIC’s partnership with the city, state, and region. The renovation is funded by fees from current students, as well as generous donations from alumni, friends of the college, and corporations.

About the College of Business Administration

For almost 40 years, the College of Business Administration has been committed to creating new knowledge, business, value, and leaders for the global marketplace. The college is home to 2,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students and 72 faculty members. Its alumni work in major industries, primarily in marketing, banking, finance and accounting. Undergraduate students major in six degree programs. Graduate students earn MBA, M.S., or Ph.D. degrees. A certificate in entrepreneurial studies also is offered.

For more information about UIC, please visit www.uic.edu

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