Numbers are not the only thing being crunched at the Yale School of Management, according to some of its students and employees.
Students and administrators said this week that lack of space in the school’s facilities has become a problem in recent years, especially because of crowded classrooms, a paucity of study rooms and the need for a place where the entire student body can gather at one time.
SOM officials say they are currently engaged in a planning process based on SOM Dean Jeffrey Garten’s 10-year strategic plan for the school. Garten’s goals include improving the school’s facilities.
SOM Deputy Dean Stan Garstka said the SOM administration surveyed faculty and students to discover their opinions about current buildings. The next step will be to obtain the help of an architect to “translate the plan into space needs,” he said.
“In terms of quality of facilities, we haven’t been competitive with other major management schools,” Garstka said.
Garstka said the number of students and faculty has grown in the last few years, making space a problem.
Many SOM students also said crowding is an issue at the school.
“There’s not enough study space at all,” Satkartar Khalsa SOM ’05 said. “We don’t have a library, so we have to use the study rooms that are at the school, and there are definitely not enough of those.”
Khalsa said the problem of study space is particularly pressing because SOM students do many group projects and are often forced to find off-campus locations to meet.
Both Khalsa and Garstka said an auditorium would also be a desirable addition to the SOM.
“It’s really annoying when, if the dean wants to address us, he often has to rent a tent and put it out in the courtyard so that we can all fit in one space,” Khalsa said. “It doesn’t have to be something like the law school’s auditorium, but it should fit 500 students.”
Some students also said classrooms can be cramped, although they said they are satisfactory in other respects, such as technological resources and lighting.
Abhishek Shukla SOM ’04 said the only problem he sees with the SOM’s current facilities is a lack of study rooms.
“I think [the facilities situation is] manageable, [but] it’s not great,” Shukla said. “For the size of the school, I think it’s fine.”
Some SOM staff members currently have offices off-campus because of the lack of space. While Garstka said the on-campus faculty are comfortable in their current location, he said one of the school’s goals will be to bring all staff back to the SOM.
The SOM does not currently have the resources to implement a plan for creating new buildings.
“The objective here is to have a plan and place, so that, should the resources emerge, we would have something to get started right away,” he said.
Garstka said within six to nine months, the SOM administration will have a defined vision of the school’s building needs.