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Stanford, CA

Challenge

With competitive pressures from peer institutions investing in new buildings coupled with an aging infrastructure inconsistent with current pedagogies, the Graduate School of Business desired a growth strategy organized around its unique strengths and assets. As a premier business school focused on entrepreneurial thinking and individualized development, the school sought to understand the long-term potential of the current campus and establish a plan for expansion and modification that would accommodate both immediate and projected growth.

Approach

MKThink was selected to evaluate the costs and benefits associated with remaining at the current location versus relocating and building a new campus on an alternate site. To begin, the MKThink Strategy group dove into a comprehensive accounting and evaluation of the more than 400,000 GSF of current facilities. Then, the team worked with GSB leadership to understand the school’s projected needs. Working with faculty and senior staff, a dramatic re-envisioning of the campus was realized. The final analysis determined that the current site was fatally flawed and would affect the long-term competitiveness of the institution.

Solution

The new long-term plan relocates the school into a new campus that allows for uninhibited expansion and an interrelationship among program components that will create the leading paradigm for business education environments while providing better fundraising opportunities. MKThink Strategy developed the program to enable incremental short, medium and long-term improvements to maintain continuity and performance. Today, the GSB is successfully moved into their new campus, the Knight Management Center. This campus of 8 building ranging from 10,000 – 100,000 GSF features:

  • More flexible teaching spaces for both larger and smaller classes in configurations to support a variety of teaching styles and integrate instructional technology,
  • A state-of-the-art auditorium large enough for the entire student body and to host important events,
  • Welcoming casual and academic space for students, visitors, and the Stanford community at large,
  • Creative workspace for faculty to encourage collaboration,
  • New space to house our centers and host their activities, and
  • Custom-designed space to expand and support our executive education programs.

The Knight Center also boasts a sustainable design that will result in a 700-ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions each year for the life of the campus and will likely result in a LEED Platinum rating, the highest certification offered by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The “Stay or Go” study propelled the Stanford GSB forward, giving them the clarity necessary to choose to leave their existing campus in order to enhance their reputation as a world class leader in business education. “New curriculum. New collaboration. New campus.”