I'm United

Ken Troske

There’s nothing quite like creating something that excites people about doing their jobs.

But that’s exactly what sparked a sense of personal accomplishment for Kenneth Troske, Senior Associate Dean at Gatton.

Dean Troske has been overseeing the architectural team designing Gatton’s new facility. Recently a professor remarked to him, “These modern spaces inspire you to come to work every day.”

It was a defining moment.

“That opportunity to do this for the faculty and students – to create an inspiring learning space and research space where you can come and feel the significant opportunities for you – that’s amazing,” he says.

The renovated facility’s architectural style will mirror that of competing business schools. That’s because the firm hired by Gatton, Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York, specializes in cutting-edge designs for that niche market. They’ve done work on more than 20 such business school buildings, including Harvard’s. Gatton also hired local group, RossTarrant Architects Inc. of Lexington, in July 2012. Dean Troske started working with the architects at the start of the fall semester.

That opportunity to do this for the faculty and students – to create an inspiring learning space and research space where you can come and feel the significant opportunities for you – that’s amazing.

“They have extensive experience in modern classroom technology, all the way down to the details of the podiums for modern classrooms that work well with faculty. And they integrate technology in a way that’s easy to use,” he says. As a result, Gatton’s renovation will incorporate the latest technologies that students will be asked to use when they enter the labor market. A significant portion of Gatton’s current facility was completed in 1963, so the changes are long overdue, Dean Troske adds.

“We are going to become a bigger business school and will serve more students. Right now, we’re very constrained by the space in the number that we can serve. We’ll be able to hire more faculty. We need larger and more lecture spaces, so that’s a big part of what’s driving this,” he says.

The facility will also be uniquely designed to facilitate collaboration among students, employing a concept called, “cluster classrooms.” Gatton has pulled such architectural design ideas from other schools like The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

“A key component is use of breakout rooms and spaces for students to gather,” Dean Troske adds. The result will be an environment that encourages give-and-take and sharing of ideas.

Since he joined Gatton seven years ago, Dean Troske says he’s seen first-hand how the design of an outdated building can impede learning. “We don’t have a lot of facilities currently to allow students to stay in the building and study in the building and continue to interact with faculty and each other. Most learning goes on when interacting with each other,” he says.

“Modern business schools all have space and rooms to stay and study and food facilities to eat with each other and interact. … Clustered classrooms allow students to work together in group settings. This is extremely important in the business world, to work as a team together.”