September 2, 2014

USC Business School dean: Work world no longer constrained by physical space

Peter Brews Moore School dean

Peter Brews
Moore School dean

Students, professors and visitors continue to marvel at the new technologies being used in the instruction process at the new home of the USC Darla Moore School of Business. Peter Brews, who was named dean at the school in January, said the use of new technologies is challenging professors’ imaginations in deciding on how to best use these new tools, including online instruction, to enhance their abilities to impart knowledge to their respective students. Brews said every institution of higher learning in our country is trying to look and understand what effect online instruction will continue to have on education.

“Some people say it’s going to be a complete substitute, other people say this too shall pass, it’s just a fad, some people are in the middle and say it’s going to be a combination of both, and that’s where I am. We don’t exactly know how it’s going to configure out eventually, but online is an important part of education, whether you’re doing an online program or whether you’re here at the Moore School.”

Brews said online instruction is an illustration that the instruction and learning process in our rapidly evolving technological society continues to expand far beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom.

Brews said there is no doubt that at the Moore School students at the graduate and undergraduate level will routinely being taking advantage of online instruction.

“I fully expect that some of the work that our students will be doing as full time undergraduate students here in the future will be done online in a hybrid model. Some of it will be in class, some of it will be in their own private spaces, some of it may be done collectively, and some of it may be done virtually.”

A number of students at the Moore School are participating in group projects with students from other nations conversing over the Internet using the software application Skype, frequently also viewing by webcam. Crews said more and more enterprises worldwide are using this process.

“A lot of work today is done in virtual teams, co-located around the world all doing work across the network.” The meet once or twice during that project and the rest of the time they are working independently. We have to prepare our students for that world, too, which means the work world is no longer constrained by physical space.”

New Moore School of Business latest jewel on USC campus

view of Palmetto Court

view of Palmetto Court

A state-of-the art collegiate learning center in form and function, the new Darla Moore School of Business was presented to reporters Wednesday as the latest architectural jewel on the sprawling University of South Carolina campus in Columbia.

The 252,000 square-foot six-level building, next to the Carolina Coliseum, maximizes natural light throughout and each level shades the one below it. The classrooms features the latest in learning and communication technologies.

This is the first year for the business school’s new location on the western edge of campus. Previously, the school had been located in the Close-Hipp building along Pendleton and Barnwell streets. The U.S. Department of Justice plans to begin leasing that space now that students have moved out.

Peter Brews, who became dean of the business school in mid-January, says he arrived at USC at a great time. The South Africa native said  the best way to describe the new building may have been coined by the students with their unique use of the English language.

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College of Charleston clears first hurdle in bid to offer doctorate degrees


Interim Provost Brian McGee (Image: C-of-C)

Interim Provost Brian McGee (Image: C-of-C)

The College of Charleston has gotten the first level of approval it needs to become a research university that offers doctorate degrees.

A state Commission on Higher Education academic affairs panel on Tuesday agreed with C-of-C’s request to change its mission statement — a move that would eventually allow the school to become only the fourth public institution in South Carolina to offer doctorates.

The Associated Press covered the meeting and first reported the news Tuesday.

State law does not allow colleges to offer the degrees unless it is designated a “research university.” Currently only the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have that designation.

“This isn’t a decision that’s being made about tomorrow or even a year from now,” Interim Provost Brian McGee told South Carolina Radio Network. “But it’s about future generations and how, in the coming decades, we’re going to create the kind of economy that we aspire to for this city and this region.”

Even though MUSC is also located in Charleston, McGee said the Lowcountry currently lacks a college that can give advanced degrees in industrial and high-tech fields.

“Having local talent produced in local universities has to be a part of the mix,” he said.

But he added College of Charleston is still years away from accepting doctoral students. Another vote of approval is needed at the full Commission on Higher Education meeting in October before the school can even present the plan to its own faculty and trustees for approval.

The College of Charleston sits in a unique position among the state’s 10 comprehensive four-year non-research colleges in that it houses a research program known as the “University of Charleston, South Carolina.” This graduate program is technically separate from the historically liberal arts college, although it is overseen by C-of-C officials.

Legislators representing the Charleston area tried to press their colleagues to change the law this past year to expand the school’s research capability. The bill cleared the House, but died in the Senate after two powerful lawmakers worried the measure needed more study. The bill was proposed as an alternative after the same Charleston legislators considered merging C-of-C and MUSC this spring.

Coker cuts ribbon on largest expansion in college’s history


Louise and Harris DeLoach cut the ribbon on the facility bearing their name Friday (Image: Coker College)

Louise and Harris DeLoach cut the ribbon on the facility bearing their name Friday (Image: Coker College)

Coker College officials dedicated a new $12 million state-of-the-art athletic center in a ceremony Friday.

The Harris and Louise DeLoach Center is now the largest building on the private campus in Hartsville. The new center will host indoor athletics facilities and a fitness center for the school’s roughly 1,200 students.

College president Robert Wyatt said the school already knew its old gym was woefully inadequate when he took the post in 2010. “We’ve been playing in an outdated gym,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “We had a seating capacity of about 400 and it was not air-conditioned.”

So the small school sought out donations, turning towards former Sonoco Corporation CEO and Chairman Harris DeLoach, a philanthropist who frequently donates to education efforts in the Hartsville area. Wyatt said DeLoach and his wife Louise’s commitment helped bring other donors forward, making the school’s current $21 million building campaign possible.

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Coroner: Teen who died on Broome High School track likely had heart issue

The Spartanburg County Coroner said Thursday that a high school student who died after collapsing on the track at Broome High School may have suffered a fatal heart-related issue, but more tests are needed to confirm it.

Coroner Rusty Clevenger said 14-year-old Chaquantei Fowler of Cowpens was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital around 3:41 Wednesday afternoon. Spartanburg County School District 3 had previously said the ninth-grader suffered a medical emergency while on the track. School personnel and emergency medical service workers tried unsuccessfully to revive the teen.

Clevenger said a microscopic analysis will have to be performed before he can give a more definitive cause of death, but said preliminary indications are that Fowler had a heart-related issue. He ruled out any foul play.

School district officials said they will honor Fowler prior to the start of the Broome-Chesnee football game on Friday night.

“We offer our deepest prayers and sympathies to this student, his family, and Broome students and faculty,” the school district said in its statement revealing the death.