The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business, which has seen steady enrollment gains in recent years due to a streamlined admissions process, a strong economy, and support from the automotive industry, is on pace to open in April 2018, says Dean Robert Forsythe.
The four-story, 120,000-square-foot school, to be located at the southwest corner of Woodward Avenue and Temple Street, will be just north of Little Caesars Arena, the new $635-million enclosed stadium for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons that is scheduled to open in September. The foundation walls for the school are now being poured.
“We have made it a lot easier for business professionals and students to enroll,” Forsythe says. “We have numerous ways graduate students can apply to the school, and if they meet certain criteria, there is no requirement to take the GMAT. General Motors Co., Lear Corp. DTE Energy, Henry Ford Health System, the Ilitch family, among many others, have been so supportive of our school.”
Mike Ilitch, who passed away on Feb. 10 at the age of 87, and his wife, Marian, made a $40 million gift to the school. The $59-million project will include multiple classrooms, a 260-seat auditorium (with room for vehicle displays), a trading room/finance lab, graduate and undergraduate services, a comprehensive career planning and placement center, an executive MBA suite, a café, an expansive atrium, a courtyard that can accommodate a large tent, among other offerings.
“We’re actively raising funds for the school, including naming rights for particular areas of the facility,” Forsythe says. “We will have a 28-seat boardroom, and along with the auditorium and other areas of the school, we are looking to rent the spaces out for public and private functions, retreats, board meetings, and other business functions.”
The school will be most active with students during weekday evenings, as after work classes have proven to be popular. There are approximately 1,200 graduate students and 2,400 undergraduate students. Forsythe says enrollment growth has been across the board, with supply chain management classes drawing more and more students.
A parking deck is planned behind the school, and Forsythe says the school has the capacity to add nine additional classrooms based on demand. “Most of our classes are full right now, and the new facility will really help us grow,” he says.