PSU’s new Karl Miller Center breaks ground and will house School of Business Administration
Author: University Communications
Posted: October 16, 2015

Portland State University’s new Karl Miller Center broke ground today and will house the School of Business Administration. The building will nearly triple in size through a construction project that will add more classrooms, a five-story atrium, study rooms, event space and common areas. With more than 3,500 students, Portland State’s business school is the largest in Oregon. 

“Not only will the business school expansion meet the academic needs of our students, it will also produce future entrepreneurs and exceptional employees for regional businesses,” PSU President Wim Wiewel said. 

The project is made possible by a $9 million gift from 1991 business alum Rick Miller and his wife Erika, nearly $14 million in other gifts, and $40 million in state bonds. The total project will cost more than $60 million.

Miller paid homage to PSU in his comments stating “You leveled the playing field for me. You gave a local kid an opportunity to gain a quality higher education that was affordable, effective, and appreciated.” The new building is named after his grandfather, Karl Miller, who was a World War II veteran, firefighter, and entrepreneur.

The project includes a renovation of the existing building and the addition of a new 38,000 square-foot building connecting to its north side. Classrooms will be redesigned to create more usable spaces that encourage student participation and group discussion. When it’s completed in 2017, the building will have gone from 52,000 square feet to 143,000 square feet. The building is designed by Behnisch Architekten and SRG with Skanska doing the project development and construction.

“For too long, the quality of student and the product of our terrific faculty has not matched the building in which they have taught and learned,” Miller said. “An MBA student said it best a few years ago when asked about her experience at Portland State. She said, ‘It's like a wonderful caviar in a bad tin can.’ Not any longer!”

In addition to a new building, the School of Business Administration has a new dean who started this summer, Dan Connolly.  “The new state-of-the-art home for our faculty and staff will be a stunning addition to the PSU campus. It will be transformative; it will propel the School to the next level while attracting some of the brightest minds in students, faculty and staff,” Connolly said. “It will also make a statement to the Portland business community that we are deeply committed to serving the city, that we are Portland’s Business School.”