Effective July 1, 2015, the Department of Building Construction Management in the College of Technology will be renamed School of Construction Management Technology. The change was approved by the Purdue University Board of Trustees at its April 10 meeting in Indianapolis.
The change, according to Bryan Hubbard, department head, will help the program grow and adapt to meet the varied needs of the construction industry while maintaining a strong focus on its core construction management curriculum.
“Throughout the history of our program, we have developed the world’s future construction industry leaders,” Hubbard said. “The faculty and staff of the program are very pleased to earn the recognition of elevating from a department to a school within the University system. It provides us the opportunity to offer more options to our students, which will make them even stronger candidates in the global construction industry.”
The construction industry has developed several specialized areas that have unique education requirements, such as healthcare, sustainability, and disaster restoration. Purdue’s program has been a national leader in developing curricula in these areas. The new school will include a broader focus on the industry and supporting areas, which will mean more diverse coursework and more collaboration with other disciplines. This outlook mirrors the professional shift to a more integrated view of design, construction and operations.
“The entire building lifecycle process includes design, construction, maintenance, and eventual repurposing,” Hubbard said. “As a school, we can explore more of the processes through new degree programs and coursework that are not fully addressed by academia.”
The change to a school is also part of the larger College of Technology transformation. New curriculum that leads to successful career tracks will help increase enrollment and the diversity of students within the school. Academic leaders also believe the change will lead to greater visibility on and off campus, which could result in more funding opportunities and research collaborations.
On a more fundamental level, many of Purdue’s peer institutions have schools of construction management or similarly named units. To compete for the best students, Purdue’s program needs to be seen as being on equal footing with its peers.
Over the next 18 months, the school will propose new degree programs and graduate program specializations.
“The name change is one of many steps we are taking to insure the program’s long-term success,” Hubbard said.
The faculty and staff of the department and its Construction Advisory Council overwhelmingly supported the name change.