Interim Executive Director Report

The 2015/2016 school year is well underway, and activity at the CU Real Estate Center is brisk. There are currently 125 undergraduate students enrolled in the RE Certificate program, and over 315 seats filled with interested students in offered classes this fall. In the MBA program there are currently 19 students taking Real Estate Finance and Investments and 15 students in Real Estate Economics. There is no shortage of questions to be answered or careers to be shaped. Fortunately for all our students, the real estate industry is in generally good shape, so internships and jobs are available in many areas of finance, marketing, leasing, sales and development.

We are offering a new class in Risk Management, which will be beneficial for anyone who wants to better understand the various areas of risk in the real estate world. Weighing the various risk elements in portfolios and individual assets, from portfolio balancing, construction risk, interest rate risk, lease-up risk, and general overall economic risk, is critical in the decision-making process in buying, selling, holding, financing and developing real estate assets.

We are rapidly approaching our fall National Advisory Board (NAB) meeting, where key real estate practitioners from around the country come to Boulder to discuss and debate current topics in the industry, and to help direct the growth and direction of the Real Estate Center. In this session, we will be hearing from Mr. Tom Clark, the Executive Director of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, who will brief us on the state of the real estate market in Denver and the Rocky Mountain West. Tom has a wealth of experience in the economic development arena, and we are certain to gain valuable insights from his presentation.

We are currently tabulating the results from our first-ever member/stakeholder survey at the Real Estate Center. Our goal is to make sure we are providing the best value possible to our various constituencies. From our students, to our Council, NAB and Board of Governors members, we want to make sure that the Center is relevant, effective, and growing. We want to maintain our already strong reputation in the industry, and grow our stature beyond the Rocky Mountains, to ensure our students and faculty are recognized and rewarded for their efforts and expertise.

On the hiring front, we have commenced our search for a full-time Executive Director. The position is highly desirable and prominent, and we want to make sure we find the best possible individual to move the Center forward. A search committee is being formed, and the job description is being finalized. We hope to identify and secure a new Executive Director by the end of the calendar year. We are also searching for a replacement for Professor Liang Peng, who departed in June to take a post at another top-notch program in the eastern US. We wish Liang well, and thank him for his years of service to CU.

Finally, we are pleased to announce that we we now have two meaningful endowment funds that will help support the Center financially, and will ensure its growth and stature for years to come. Bill Reynolds, a longtime supporter of the program, has made a generous donation which, with the help of matching funds from the Chancellor, has created a $2.1MM fund to support general Center operations. In addition, our Experiential Learning Endowment is now approaching $900,000, which will help support student activities beyond the classroom, including student treks, case competitions and other hands-on learning opportunities that compliment our formal academic curriculum.

No matter how you look at it, the current and future state of the Center is exciting and growing. We are looking forward to continuing our great tradition of providing top notch experiences for our students and Center supporters. Much more to come soon!!

Kim Koehn
Interim Executive Director

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