The proverbial beginning of a new school year always bring wonder and amazement, but it has been especially the case for me this year, in my new role and with the reinvigorated energy of the CU Real Estate Center (CUREC) from its many supporters. I offer a huge debt of gratitude, on behalf of the center and the industry, to Kim Koehn, our interim executive director, who did more than just keep the flame alive this last year – he lit a torch under the program.
The new class of MBA students at Leeds is nothing shy of awesome and the vigor with which the returning “second years” hit the books is amazing. Couple this with an ever-expanding cadre of undergrads pursuing a passion in real estate and the future looks pretty darn bright.
The CUREC is building upon its strong foundational base to capitalize on three key areas: academic excellence, global thought leadership and lifetime knowledge acquisition. Under Dr. Tom Thibodeau’s stewardship we are augmenting our top-tier faculty with the addition of Dr. Steve Billings and our many industry professional adjunct professors. To stay not just abreast of, but ahead of, industry trends and business needs we are tapping into our CUREC industry boards for insights and direction, fine tuning and adding to our curriculum. Tom and Steve are both highly-regarded industry experts and continue to lead with new research for the real estate community.
As a major national real estate center, the CUREC has long hosted an important annual real estate forum in Colorado. Looking ahead, that forum, which will next be held on March 7, 2017, is taking on a new patina by adding a local flavor plus a global focus. This 20th Anniversary addition of the Forum promises to be special and cutting edge in its ability to inspire and lead the discussion in our industry. This year we are also launching an additional thought-leadership platform with a new Symposium Series, a unique event to be held four times a year, built around a global real estate leader who will offer the sort of ideas, insights and intuition not typically gained in a typical real estate program. Our inaugural event will be October 20th, anchored by a young woman real estate developer from Honduras who is leading the way in tying corporate social responsibility to real estate in one of the hemisphere’s most challenged markets. Future “real estate leaders in residence” will offer a similarly diverse and unique thought-leadership perspective to our students and industry cadres.
Finally, CUREC has been behind some of the highest job-placement numbers amongst graduates from the Leeds School of Business. We will be expanding this capability by broadening the opportunity base for real estate graduates’ jobs geographically, and by sector, to new areas such as banking, finance, planning and even governmental agencies. Once employed, our graduates are already working as alumni with the CUREC to build a powerful base of business mentors and supporters. Our goal is for the CUREC to be the go-to-center for jobs, career expansion, business networking and continued learning, both formally through CU programs and informally through CUREC events and activities. Our vision is to lift the CUREC to the mantle where it rightly belongs, as one of the world’s top real estate programs. As Executive Director, I will look forward to working with our friends and business partners as we pioneer new frontiers of academic learning within the real estate sector and help push against the very boundaries of opportunity and reward within the global real estate industry. Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm.