A $1 million gift to the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University from EY will create a virtual-learning platform for students focusing on advanced business analytics.

Students learning in a classroom

The EY Collaboratory at the Broad College of Business will differentiate the college’s analytics curriculum offerings.

The gift from Ernst & Young LLP (EY) – the U.S. member firm of the global network of Ernst & Young firms that are leaders in assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services – will establish the EY Analytics Collaboratory, a learning platform unique to and designed specifically for MSU and the Broad College. EY’s gift will support the collaboratory’s curriculum development, including live cases and customized course materials, as well as developing a cloud-based virtual learning infrastructure.

“Through this unique gift, EY’s commitment advances our position as offering a top business analytics program,” said Vallabh Sambamurthy, Eli Broad Professor in the Department of Accounting & Information Systems and associate dean for outreach and engagement at the Broad College.

“By creating this new style of learning to students of the Broad College and beyond,” he added, “we’re responding to our corporate partners’ needs for employees with sharp analytical skills, creative problem-solving strategies, and business acumen from a leading institution. It also reflects the Broad College’s commitment to leveraging technology in advancing learning. A cloud-based infrastructure for learning will be a novel platform and an innovative business model.”

Students from MSU can elect courses from the collaboratory to complement those offered in Broad’s master’s in business analytics program, or to receive a separate certification. The self-learning, real-time environment in a cloud-based infrastructure is new to the university and reflects the niched experience of EY.

“This gift helps keep Michigan State at the forefront of offering highly effective learning methods and curricula to prepare students for the world before them,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “We are grateful to EY for their vision and investment in providing an extraordinary learning opportunity for current and future Spartans.”

Working with the Broad College of Business leadership to strategize the collaboratory was Ellen Glazerman, executive director of the EY Foundation, and David Hoogendoorn, a partner at EY and Broad College of Business Advisory Board member.

“Expertise in data and analytics is a significant differentiator for today’s organizations,” said Hoogendoorn. “Our investment will help prepare the next generation of Spartans in this continuously-evolving field.”

EY’s analytics and infrastructure development professionals will work alongside the Broad College to build the collaboratory and curriculum, which will open for student enrollment tentatively in fall 2018. As a result of the virtual learning environment, Broad faculty can collaborate with faculty across the university and will gain access to use-cases, collaborate with EY for guest lectures, and strengthen the college’s academic-corporate partnership.

EY has long been in partnership with MSU and the college. The Ernst & Young Endowment Fund for the Department of Accounting & Information Systems was established in 1995. Annual gifts from EY and partners in the firm have brought the fund’s market value to more than $3 million. The endowment supports student scholarships, the EY Endowed Professorship of Accounting, and the EY Communication Center, as well as new ideas and emerging opportunities in the department.