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School of Global Studies building underway


By Hannah Alani

The state-of-the-art building is expected to be completed in two years and will house nearly 35 language and culture departments in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The curved building will be located on 10th Street across from the Wells Library and will have four floors organized by department.

The school will be based through COAS and will house more than 350 core and affiliated faculty members.

IU’s 11 federally funded Title VI area studies centers and federally funded Language Flagship programs will also be associated with the school, but the degree program for SGIS is not yet finalized, said Elisabeth Andrews, communications specialist for the Office of the Provost.

French professor Margaret Gray is among the faculty who will most likely be moved to the SGIS in two years.

“I think that the new building is designed to be very user-friendly and will bring us all together,” Gray said. “In that way, it’s a very positive step.”

While Gray sees the merits of consolidation, she is concerned about how the change could negatively affect the French program.

“In many ways, our work connects us more closely with the humanistic traditions of the world, and this would be moving us to a more socio-political department identity,” Gray said. “We are in a discussion. I think the administration is trying to listen, but it also has its own vision.”

The SGIS will cost $52 million. Half the funds are coming from the Big Ten Network’s rights fees, said Tom Morrison, IU vice president for capital planning and facilities.

The IU Board of Trustees approved the creation of the SGIS in August 2012, and construction is set to be complete in June 2015.

The SGIS investment reflects McRobbie’s long-term goals emphasizing a global education for students.  

“By bringing together into one school the core of IU’s extraordinary resources in global and international studies, the University stands poised to join the most outstanding programs in the world in these truly vital areas,” McRobbie said in a press release.

Follow reporter Hannah Alani on Twitter @alohalanii.

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