Global Business and Analytics Complex
The proposed $250-million Global Business and Analytics Complex (GBAC) on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus is a catalyst to secure the university’s position as a world leader in data analytics and decision science and is why it is a named presidential priority in the Boundless Impact Campaign. The ability to collect, assess, and use data to predict results has altered business and society.
At Virginia Tech, ranked among the most innovative universities in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings, transformational initiatives are underway. As part of the university’s 6-year master plan, GBAC will be known for delivering an innovative educational model that keeps pace with the digital revolution through talent production — undergraduate and graduate — and transdisciplinary research, fueling the pipeline to key economic regions. The complex’s features — state-of-the-art teaching and research labs, classrooms, and collaborative spaces for students, faculty, and student startups — and Virginia Tech’s industry partnerships will deliver top talent and spark research throughout the commonwealth and foster economic growth.
GBAC, Innovation Campus, and Amazon HQ2
Amazon’s decision to locate its second headquarters in Northern Virginia included the value proposition Virginia Tech offers, the core of which is the proposed Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia and the undergraduate talent pipeline from the main campus in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech’s commitment to increasing the number of undergraduates studying computer science, engineering, and related disciplines at the GBAC is an important factor in the Amazon HQ2 initiative.
Virginia Tech produces 24 percent of the commonwealth’s four-year public-institution STEM-H degrees, more than any other institution in Virginia. The university is among nation’s largest provider of engineering and STEM-related graduates. In 2017, 54.5% of Virginia Tech’s graduates earned a STEM-H degree. Business information technology — Pamplin College of Business’ largest major, withmore than 1,500 students, and the university’s second largest major — is STEM-H designated. The Pamplin College of Business is at the forefront of the GBAC initiative. Analytics is being integrated into all business disciplines.
The complex will have two connected academic buildings located on Prices Fork Road and West Campus Drive, and two living-learning communities located across West Campus Drive within walking distance to the transportation hub for students. This transformational initiative will be built through a blend of state funding tied to the Amazon HQ2 initiative, private philanthropy, and university financing for the living-learning communities.
The complex will serve a mix of select students and faculty from the College of Engineering and the College of Science. The entire Pamplin College of Business community will be located throughout the complex.
The first academic building, the Data & Decision Sciences Building, is currently under construction. The approximately 115,000-gross-square-foot facility will house faculty and classes from multiple colleges, including the College of Engineering, the College of Science, and the Pamplin College of Business. Its function is to bring together under one roof computer science, engineering, and data-related disciplines to provide opportunities for students, faculty, alumni, and even industry leaders to work side-by-side to address some of the world’s significant data challenges.
The second academic building also will be Pamplin’s new location to meet the demands for a modernized learning environment and to accommodate the exponential growth of faculty and students over the last 30-plus years. It will be a collaborative magnet for talent, research, and education, and will include 240,000 square feet of academic space and advanced technology, such as data visualization and labs, team rooms, advanced classrooms, and collaborative spaces for faculty and students.
Two residence halls embedded living-learning communities specializing in analytics, entrepreneurship, and international business will also be included in GBAC. Pamplin and College of Science are in the process of developing an Analytics living-learning community called IMPACT. The current living-learning community Innovate, focused on entrepreneurship, will relocate to one of the two new residence halls. The halls will house 700 students, with faculty and corporate partners engaged in the programming on a day-to-day basis. Currently, these living-learning communities are projected to be in the proposed Student Life Village.
Pamplin’s programs in business analytics, information technology, cybersecurity, hospitality and tourism management, and real estate are ranked in the top 5 nationally, while accounting and marketing are in the top tier for research, and MBA programs are in the top 25. Overall, Pamplin’s undergraduate program is ranked No. 41 in the 2022 US News & World Report.
Pamplin and the Colleges of Engineering and Science have globally ranked leading faculty researchers. Pamplin recruited the world’s top analytics scholar to join its faculty in FY19 and recruited other premier researchers in privacy and security, analytics, and innovation across business disciplines.
The average GPA of incoming undergraduate students at Virginia Tech is above 4.0, with highly competitive test scores. With a state-of-the-art learning environment, Pamplin and the university will attract the best and brightest students who share a passion for analytics and data, fueling an unprecedented talent pipeline in the digital revolution.
The GBAC initiative will provide the optimal business school experience. Virginia Tech will be a leader in business education in the next decade by preparing students to be technologically proficient, to work collaboratively on multidisciplinary teams, and to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset to solve complex challenges in business and society. Data and decisions students in the Colleges of Engineering and Science will benefit through co-curricular and experiential opportunities that enable them to develop critical skills employers require.
The state’s capital budget allocated $69 million toward construction of Data & Decision Sciences Building for the first of the two academic buildings, and it is scheduled for completion in 2023. In April 2022, the Board of Visitors approved an $8 million planning authorization to complete designs through working drawings for the second academic building with expected completion in early 2025. The funding plan is completely non-general fund support.
Data & Decision Sciences Building exterior construction photos from June 2, 2022. Photos: Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities.
Data & Decision Sciences Building hard hat tour photos from April 2022.
This $250-million, four-building project has university, state, and private resources already committed, and we are now working to finalize funding for Pamplin’s new location with private philanthropy. To date, Pamplin has raised more than $36 million, including commitments from nearly 100 percent of the Pamplin Advisory Council, as well as key alumni partners at Deloitte, EY, and KPMG, and corporate and family foundations such as the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, Deloitte Foundation, EY Foundation, and KPMG Foundation. We are seeking to raise a remaining $4 million in private philanthropy to ensure the full vision of the design for this transformational building is realized. This is a critical juncture for Pamplin. Its undergraduate pipeline is in high demand by industry and government.
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Contact Elizabeth Mitchell at 540-231-3020 or email@example.com to learn more about the Global Business and Analytics Complex.