Wichita State University outlined a plan on Friday to bring private companies onto campus for the sake of innovation. The presentation, which was held on campus, included designs for a number of new buildings.
The fairways of Braeburn Golf Course on Wichita State’s campus will soon have a far different look. The links will be the site of Innovation Campus, a 20-year expansion that will include more than a dozen new buildings.
Wichita State President John Bardo says it will be an opportunity to strengthen the economy around the university through diversification.
“One of the major issues we have in this area is we are, economically, way too tied to just a few industries,” he explains. “What we’re looking at is specialization and diversity. We’re looking at trying to increase opportunities across a wide array of areas.”
The names of any private companies haven’t yet been released, but Bardo says they’ll perform research and testing on campus, providing students and faculty the opportunity to work with industry leaders.
Above Is A Virtual Tour Of Innovation Campus
There are concerns that the venture would only benefit engineering and technology. But Senior Vice President and Provost Anthony Vizzini says that’s not true.
“That’s really a very narrow view of what we as an institution are doing. Our faculty [at WSU] are all innovators, they’re the leading thinkers in their field. An artist or historian would be equally welcome.”
The first elements of Innovation Campus will begin to take shape next February. The plan is for these private companies to invest their own money for construction.