CMU’s Business College Plans $11M Facelift, Expands Online Offerings


Grawn Hall, home to Central Michigan University’s College of Business Administration in Mount Pleasant, will be on the receiving end of a $10.8-million renovation and expansion project, following approval from the school’s board of trustees on Thursday.

“Our college is now reimagining a contemporary learning environment that will invigorate our historic structure, and create a home away from home for the 4,000 business majors on campus,” say college officials in a promotional video posted on the school’s website about the project.

Improvements made to the circa 1915-building, the oldest on CMU’s campus, will include a 6,600-square-foot, two-story addition on its west side, including a new main entry and multifunctional space for lectures, events, and group study. The renovation of 16,200 square-feet of existing space will update corridors, add fire suppression, replace windows, and include new student service and collaboration spaces.

Board members also addressed the university’s recent national rankings for online programs in U.S. News and World Report. The school is tied at No. 5 for best online graduate education programs; No. 13 for best online bachelor’s programs; and No. 25 for best online MBA programs.

“We are getting recognition for the quality of our programs,” says Sarah Opperman, a board trustee. “That’s outstanding and we need to maintain that … Now, we owe it to our students and to ourselves to ramp it up in terms of the volume that we offer.”

George E. Ross, CMU’s president, says he will rally the faculty and leadership team to embrace more online learning. “Everything can’t be taught online, but where it’s appropriate, we’re going to develop more online courses,” he says.