Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015


There are 324 doors in the new building. Some doors need to be fire-rated – most do not. We want most doors to have electronic access controls, but some doors do not need this. Some doors need to have electronic scheduling capability, but most do not. Some doors are wood and some are glass. Some doors just need an old-fashioned key lock. Some doors need emergency exit bars. Most do not. I could go on. And on… It may be hard to believe, but it gets more complicated depending on how many functions a door needs to serve.

I never realized how complicated doors could be. We’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks figuring out exactly what each one of the 324 doors needs to do. The most surprising finding: There are very few doors that are exactly like any other door.

After our research into the various functions each of the doors needs to have, we all got together last week for a “door meeting.” We went through all 324 doors one-by-one. It took two hours. Present in the meeting were representatives of the business school, the university architect/job manager, key/lock specialists from the university Facilities Office, the building architects, representatives of the general contractor, the architect’s door advisor, and the firm that we hired to install the doors.

Ken Snyder
Ken Snyder
I said two things in the meeting. It was about principles. When we got into a difficult discussion about how we could get a certain door to serve multiple functions, I questioned whether or not we even needed that door. Principle #1: Keep it simple! In another case, doors were designed to serve the needs of the HVAC system, but ran counter to the needs of our students. Principle #2: This building is about the students!

I am happy to report that, due to the diligent preparation of the many people involved, we resolved the specifications of every door except one. This door requires a little more research into fire code, and technologies available to serve multiple functions. We’ll come back and re-visit that one door at a future meeting.

Monday, March 30, 2015

USU Students Win Five Awards at Statewide Entrepreneurship Competition

By Dr. Mike Glauser

Last Saturday night was the awards banquet for the state-wide entrepreneurship competition. We had another good year, with Utah State University winning five awards:

Best Technology Award - Cody Pickering, Align Skate Decks ($5,000)
Best Bootstrapped Award - Cody Pickering, Align Skate Decks ($2,500)
Best Social Impact Award - Spencer Finch, Rental on Me ($1,000) and Cody Pickering ($1,000)
Best Beehive Startup Award - Cody Pickering, Align Skate Decks (Donations in Kind)

Cody and Spencer, along with two other USU entrepreneurs, will compete in our Shark Tank night this coming Wednesday in the Eccles Conference Center at 6:00 pm. We have an additional $6,000 to be distributed among these four entrepreneurs. Hope you can join us. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When will the new building be finished?

The question I get asked most often is when will the building be finished? This blog is an update on where we are at in answering that question.

Over the past few months, we've been working under the assumption that we CAN and SHOULD finish construction of Huntsman Hall in December 2015. At my request, in a meeting a few weeks ago, we reviewed a detailed schedule of what has to happen in order to finish in December. After reviewing the schedule, the contractor – and all of the rest of us, including the business school contingent, USU facilities representatives, the architects, etc., who need to support the contractor in order to achieve that completion date – committed to finishing in December. This means that we are moving forward with plans to use the classrooms starting in January 2016.

We also went through each critical item that may prevent a December completion and discussed contingency plans on how we can overcome any delays caused by those problems. To be honest, there are a huge number of items that need to be done between now and then. On the good side, the number of items is almost manageable!

Ken Snyder
Note: I apologize about the vacation my blog has taken the past few weeks. I've been in Japan with a group of MBA students, and didn't really have the time to write. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Finishing Up the Finishes

As we’ve focused on structural issues, we’ve been put off some less time-sensitive decisions. Specifically, we put off deciding what to do about finishes.

Finishes is a general term used to refer to surface materials, colors, etc. We decided things like the color of the wood on the walls at the front of the classrooms, the color of carpets in the office areas and classrooms, etc. It’s all the little things that make the building look great versus just functional.

Last week we met with the architects, interior designer, and contractor to review finishes. The architects and interior designer prepared many options for us to consider. In most cases, we went with what they recommended. In some cases we went with an option they presented but did not recommend. In one case, the podiums, we rejected what they presented and told them what we’d like to see. We’ll have to circle back to them on that one.

With the exception of two or three items, everything was chosen. And, I can promise you, we went for great-looking and not just functional pieces and accents. It really will be a beautiful building that will be finished up very nicely.

Ken Snyder