The Corner Office

In the August/September 2010 issue of Evansville Business, we led readers through the newest development at the fast-growing University of Southern Indiana: the Business and Engineering Center, a $31.9 million project fronting USI’s quadrangle. The building’s bold, angular façade alludes to its modern interior, and for students and faculty inside the building, large glass panels offer beautiful glimpses of the campus.

Arguably one of the best views belongs to Abbas Foroughi, chair of management and information sciences and a professor of computer information systems. His office, nestled in a sharp bend in a second-floor hallway, is sleek and minimalist with custom-designed furniture. It’s “much more open and spacious” than his former office in the Orr Center, he says, allowing room for a small conference table for meetings with faculty, students, and local business leaders. The building — and Foroughi’s office in particular — evoke a wow factor. “The students come and talk to us more often,” he says. “They are hanging around here more.”

Foroughi, who has taught at USI since 1983, takes a minimalist approach to decorating. Several plants, including shamrock and jasmine, add an organic touch to the otherwise modern office. Diplomas, awards from the Rotary Club of Evansville, and photos of his family line the space above his desk. (Foroughi’s wife, Trudy, is an Evansville native whom he met at Indiana University. Their daughter, Leila, is pursuing a doctorate in chemistry at the University of Michigan, and their son, Matt, is a Harvard alum and dot-com executive in Philadelphia.)

The panorama outside Foroughi’s window is the showcase. Ahead is a lake frequently populated with geese; to the right, the Liberal Arts Center and an open-air balcony. (Evansville Business visited the morning after a January snowfall; Foroughi assured us the furniture is waterproof.) “I find the view of the beautiful lake and woods to be inspiring and rejuvenating,” he says. “I look forward to coming to my office every day.”

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