Savage Complex connects UT to the worldWritten by Dan Johnson | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A few weeks ago, something very special and very important happened in Toledo that could prove to be instrumental in accelerating regional economic development through strategic global connections. That special “something” was the public dedication of the Savage and Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement in the College of Business Administration at UT. I know a lot has been written about this new complex and what it will do for students and faculty, as well as the local business community. But there is a dimension to this complex that could well be a major factor in connecting Toledo and Northwest Ohio to the global business community. It is that dimension I want to describe and advocate.
It was an honor for me to be invited to deliver the dedication address for the new complex … from Dubai. The communications technology that is so important to international commerce and business today is now an integral element of the business learning and engagement mission of the UT College of Business Administration that will be facilitated by this complex.
My dedication address originated in our Zayed University studio here in Dubai and was received in real time on the UT campus. This new facility demonstrated the capacity to engage in global business connections from the university classroom in the same way business meetings and deals are handled on a daily basis. My hope and expectation is that the new Savage and Associates Complex will be leveraged to the max by connecting with business leaders around the world bringing the message to UT’s students and business community that the world is the market.
My remarks to those assembled for the dedication ceremonies were an attempt to convey my deep appreciation to all who contributed to the success of this wonderful project and to lend my support to Dean Tom Gutteridge and others who view the complex as a vital, connecting link between UT, the college and global business opportunities. Following are some excerpts from my comments at the dedication:
“… the raising of the funds, designing the facility, bringing all the technology here and completing the construction is the easy part. The real task-preparing students for business success in the 21st century-is just beginning. Preparing students to compete with the world’s best in business is the true challenge and that is not so easy.
Our students today — at the University of Toledo and Zayed University — need the fundamentals of business such as finance, real estate, insurance, accounting, administration and ethics.. But over the past 10 years, I’ve come to believe strongly that there are other elements that have become equally, if not more important: These elements are attitude-an entrepreneurial attitude-and perspective … a global perspective…
The majority of the hundreds of new buildings under construction here in Dubai are not being built to serve the local business community. They are being built to serve global business interests, to serve the global market and to bring money and wealth into Dubai.
Daniel Hudson Burnham, the preeminent architect in America at the turn of the century, once commented, ‘Make no small plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.’ I’ve noticed over the years that we are often guilty of rejecting ideas and proposals because we think they are ‘too big, too costly, too extravagant.’ Interestingly, many ideas and proposals here in Dubai and U.A.E. are rejected not because they are too big, but because they are not big enough, not bold enough, or not world-class.
Many attribute the success of Dubai to oil. But, interestingly, only 5 percent of Dubai’s revenue comes from oil. The rest is from finance and banking, real estate, tourism, education, health care, transportation, the seaport, the airport … the same sources as Toledo’s revenues.
Much of the entrepreneurship here is based on global connections and projects. Dubai has become a Global City in just three decades. The marketplace is the world. It is not enough for our business graduates to have knowledge of finance, real estate, insurance, accounting, administration and ethics. To be successful and to make Toledo successful, they must also have an entrepreneurial attitude framed by a global perspective.
The Savage and Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement — the product of hard work, sacrifice and patience — will bring that entrepreneurial attitude and global perspective to our students and the community. This new facility symbolizes those individuals who, over the decades, have continued to give of their resources to build a university that will prepare the children and grandchildren of Toledo and Northwest Ohio for meaningful, successful lives and careers.
That success will come if we give them a firm understanding of the basics of business and instill in them a strong entrepreneurial orientation with a truly global perspective.
This new business complex will do just that!
Great universities are built from great colleges and schools. Colleges are the heart of the university and source of its greatness. The University of Toledo College of Business Administration is becoming a truly great college. The new facility — the Savage and Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement — will help it on the road to greatness which, in turn, will help propel the University of Toledo to new heights of service to Toledo, the State of Ohio, the nation and the world.”
This new complex is a wonderful and urgently needed addition to the college and the business community and I offer my heartiest congratulations to Bob Savage, Dean Tom Gutteridge, President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, and all who made this a reality.
Congrats to Bell
I would also like to extend my own personal congratulations to mayor-elect Mike Bell. I remember talking to Mike about his possible candidacy a couple of years ago. You have come a long way since that conversation, Mr. mayor-elect.
I hope you will lend your influence and use your administration to advance Toledo as a Global City using the great resources you have at UT to reinvigorate the regional economy and to offer leadership for the other regions and communities all across Ohio.
Dan Johnson is provost and COO, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates and UT president emeritus.