Alden Library’s Faculty Commons will soon welcome C-Suite, a “campus-wide hub for collaboration,” as part of a $1 million project to aid Ohio University students interested in entrepreneurship.
Founded in 2015, C-Suite was created by two OU alumni who trained briefly as “innovation fellows” at Stanford University.
The project is a collaborative effort between OU students, University Libraries, the Center for Entrepreneurship, the College of Business, the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, the Scripps College of Communication and the Stanford University Epicenter Innovation Fellows.
OU Student Trustee Faith Voinovich, a junior studying chemical and biomolecular engineering, has been a part of the project since 2015.
“It’s this idea of bringing together a centralized hub that has innovative ventures in it,” Voinovich said in a university news release. “It might have ideation or materialization spaces that would really connect engineering, business, arts and sciences, fine arts — everything in one place.”
Luke Pittaway, chair of the OU College of Business management department, said in the news release that C-Suite will serve as a “nucleus that supports campus-wide student innovation, creativity and social and public innovation efforts.”
“This new campus space will provide a physical hub for many of the student innovation and entrepreneurship activities taking place across campus and being led by multiple colleges, departments and centers,” Pittaway said. “Many of these activities do not have a home, and a physical space in Alden Library will enable cross-disciplinary student interactions.”
C-Suite will share a space with the Center for Entrepreneurship, the directors of which will manage C-Suite’s use and engagement.
The OU Board of Trustees approved the C-Suite project in January 2017 with a total budget of $1 million and planned to house the program in the Central Classroom building. After closer inspection of the building, however, Associate Vice President of University Planning Shawna Bolin said additional renovation needs and requests would stretch beyond approved resources.
The planning team instead decided to incorporate C-Suite into the Faculty Commons space on the third floor of Alden Library, a space that had previously been considered.
“The Faculty Commons area embodied many of the collaborative traits that had been envisioned for C-Suite, including a flexible floor plan and plenty of room for a broad range of programming,” Vice Provost for Instructional Innovation Brad Cohen said in the news release. “Additionally, it’s centrally located on campus and provides fantastic accessibility for a wide range of students, faculty and staff.”