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Letter from the Executive Director

Mark J. RiedyMark J. Riedy, PhD

The generosity of the Burnham-Moores Center’s supporters never ceases to amaze and please me.  As we were nearing the end of our recruiting cycle for this year’s cohort of Master of Science in Real Estate students, we had exhausted our available scholarships and yet had opportunities to attract additional highly qualified students. Because we compete for graduate students with the top tier of American real estate programs—all with access to much deeper scholarship funds than we enjoy given the age of their programs and the size of their universities—each year we need to increase our available scholarship funds significantly.

Breakfast at the BMCIn August, facing a last-minute need for more graduate-level scholarships, I made a personal appeal to members of three of our Policy Advisory Board committees. In short order, 11 individuals and companies responded with close to $20,000 designated specifically for MSRE scholarships this fall. As a result, we were successful in attracting additional graduate students who literally would not have been able to join our program without this financial aid.

A common misperception of students attending the University of San Diego is that for most students’, tuition and other expenses are not a problem. The truth is that in academic year 2009-10, 68 percent of USD undergraduates received some form of financial assistance, of which more than two-thirds came in the form of scholarships and grants. In addition, 76 percent of USD graduate students received $30 million in financial aid. Although most graduate student financial aid came in the form of loans, both loans and scholarships help make a graduate education more affordable. And in the case of our MSRE students, other universities offer sizable scholarships so USD needs to compete on that basis: scholarships, not loans, which will need to be repaid some day.

Thanks to all of those who contributed to this recent scholarship drive and to all of those who have contributed in the past. Our MSRE program has been a terrific success from day one thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff and generous supporters.

Dr. Mark J. Riedy
Executive Director

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KBS Realty Advisors President Peter Bren Headlines Breakfast at the BMC

Breakfast at the BMC featuring Peter Bren
Peter Bren captivates the Oct. 6 Breakfast at the BMC audience as moderator Barbara Cambon, managing partner of Snowcreek Management Company, looks on.

More than 175 industry professionals gathered Oct. 6 to hear Peter Bren, chairman of the board and president of KBS Realty Advisors, speak at the Center’s Breakfast at the BMC event, held at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. During his appearance, Bren gave the audience his insights into the real estate industry's challenges over the past several years, how his company has had to change its strategies over the years and some of the lessons he’s learned along the way.

Bren spoke specifically on the heyday of the early 1980s and the overbuilding sparked by tax laws favorable to real estate owners as well as the negative changes caused by the Tax Reform Act of 1986. He also stressed that the major problems in real estate are caused largely by overleveraging, citing the recent bankruptcies of a national major shopping center investor and a New York apartment project.

Bren indicated that he was optimistic about the future of the industry. “Three years ago there were no opportunities available, but now we are seeing many,” he said.

In a private meeting with Master of Science in Real Estate students held after the public event, Bren said he learned the most from the recession from 1989-93, which to him was the biggest real estate fiasco in recent times. “That was a bear,” he told the graduate students. “What we are dealing with now is a cub.”

Bren said this is because there is no overbuilding currently like we have seen in the past. “That’s the savior this time around,” he said.

Bren encouraged the students to take an entrepreneurial approach to their real estate careers, much as he did. “Real estate development is a bit like the wild west, he said. "This has always been an entrepreneurial business with a few people standing out with new ideas.”

He also believes that no matter whether the market is good or bad, both can be seen as a favorable market for an entrepreneur. “You can make a fortune in either market—but you can also lose a fortune if you are not careful.”

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Executive Committee Member Dennis Cruzan Receives Mulvihill Award

Dennis Cruzan
(From left to right) Malin Burnham, Dennis Cruzan and Dan Mulvihill at the Center’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee dinner Sept. 28.

At the Center’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee dinner Sept. 28, Executive Committee member Dennis Cruzan, principal of Cruzan/Monroe, with his wife Janet in attendance, received the Daniel F. Mulvihill Leadership Award.

Mulvihill WinnersCruzan received the award for his enthusiastic, generous and longtime support of the Burnham-Moores Center. The award was created in 2002 to honor Dan Mulvihill, chairman of Pacific Southwest Realty Services, for his leadership in helping to launch USD’s real estate program in 1992, as well as his intense involvement in building the program to its current level of prominence. This was the ninth year the award was given to a BMC supporter.

The 2010 award was presented to Dennis Cruzan “in grateful recognition for his extraordinary commitment, generosity of time and treasure, and personal support of the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.” At the dinner, which was held at La Gran Terraza on campus, Executive Director Mark Riedy highlighted Cruzan’s wide-ranging involvement and support including: his hiring of University of San Diego students; his active participation on the Center’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee; for serving as a speaker at the Center’s conferences and at an MSRE graduation ceremony; for being a classroom lecturer; for serving as an industry mentor for graduate real estate students and encouraging his colleagues to do so as well; for hosting a dinner in his home for former Woodruff Scholarship winners and for having a daughter who entered the University of San Diego as a freshman this fall.

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Real Estate Society Hosts First-Time Homebuyers Seminar

First Time Homebuyers Panel
(From left to right) Lani Furrows from Bank of America, Matt Battiata from The Battiata Real Estate Group and Abel Fregoso from Wachovia led the panel discussion at the Real Estate Society's First Time Homebuyers Panel held Sept. 30 at USD.

On Sept. 30, over 100 University students, faculty and staff as well as Linda Vista community members attended the First-Time Homebuyers Seminar and luncheon, sponsored by the USD Real Estate Society and the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, with funding provided by the California Mortgage Bankers Association Foundation.

The seminar was designed to give prospective homebuyers a background on the area’s current housing market and requirements for entry. It featured views from three panelists: Abel Fregoso from Wachovia, Lani Furrows from Bank of America and Matt Battiata from The Battiata Real Estate Group. After presentations from each of the panelists, which were moderated by Real Estate Society advisory board member and current MSRE student Alan Cox, attendees posed a wide variety of questions to the experts.

The University’s Real Estate Society is a 200-plus member student organization that was formed in 2005. Through industry outreach and monthly meetings the society provides resources and information to students interested in pursuing a career in real estate. Meetings are held the last Thursday of every month and feature real estate professionals who share their industry experience and insight with students. Real Estate Society events are open to all undergraduate and graduate students.

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ULI's Young Leaders and the MSRE Program Co-Host Homebuilder Forum

Homebuilder Panel
(From left to right) Panelists Alex Plishner of Shea Homes, Marco Sessa of Sudberry Properties, Beth Fisher of Pardee Homes and moderator Ian Gill of Highland Partnership Inc. on Sept. 29.

On Sept. 29, the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Young Leaders Group and the MSRE program co-hosted a networking session and panel discussion on the current homebuilding market in San Diego for MSRE students and ULI members. The panel, which took place on the University of San Diego campus, included Beth Fisher of Pardee Homes, Alex Plishner of Shea Homes and Marco Sessa of Sudberry Properties. Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee member Ian Gill of Highland Partnership Inc. served as the moderator. The panelists addressed changing market factors in the residential market and analyzed the effects of current and future housing market legislation.

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BMC Takes Part in ICSC Western Division Conference


Ines Kraft, PhD, administrative director of the Master of Science in Real Estate program, meets with a visitor to the Burnham-Moores Center’s booth at ICSC’s Western Division Conference, held Sept. 22-24 at the San Diego Convention Center. Ten currently enrolled Master of Science in Real Estate students attended the conference, which was called, “Finding the Next Wave.”

“Industry conferences are a good opportunity for us to showcase our MSRE program,”said Kraft. “We have an opportunity to reach successful young industry professionals who are ready to take the next step in their career.”

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USD’s Business School Signs on to Responsible Management Initiative

The University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration has become a signatory of the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME), whose mission is to inspire and champion responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally. The PRME were developed in 2007 by an international task force of 60 deans, university presidents and representatives of leading business schools and academic institutions.

The PRME are a global call for business schools and universities worldwide to gradually adapt their curricula, research, teaching methodologies and institutional strategies to new business challenges and opportunities.

By becoming a signatory, USD’s SBA agrees to integrate corporate responsibility and sustainability in a gradual and systemic manner and to use the group’s Six Principles as a guiding framework. The Burnham-Moores Center is an intergral part of the Business School and as such supports implementation of the Principles.

To see USD’s Sharing of Information Report, go here.

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Vivek Sah’s Paper Accepted for Publication


Vivek Sah
Vivek Sah, PhD

A research paper authored by Assistant Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, “The Predictive Abilities and Persistence of Morningstar Ratings: An Examination of Real Estate Mutual Funds,” has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Property Research. JPR is one of the leading international real estate journals with an acceptance rate of less than 15 percent.

The study examines the predictive abilities of Morningstar ratings related to the future relative performance of real estate mutual funds. It also looks at the persistence of the rating system and how consistent it is in picking winners.

Back to TopIn the News

Alan Gin was quoted in several articles following his August release of the USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, which he compiles for the Burnham-Moores Center. Articles appeared in: San Diego Union-Tribune, The Daily Transcript, San Diego Business Journal, KPBS and Gin also appeared in a Sept. 3 KPBS segment on the latest trends in the local economy.

Norm Miller and Alan Gin were included in the Sept. 5, Sept. 19 and Sept. 25 editions of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s weekly “EconoMeter.” The topics dealt with whether the newly proposed economic stimulus and further federal subsidies to state and local governments represent effective ways to help the local economy and whether we should be worried about inflation.

Norm Miller and Alan Gin were quoted in a Sept. 8 San Diego Union-Tribune article on the differences among housing reports. The article was picked up by several blogs the following day including and

Mark Riedy was quoted in a Sept. 24 Daily Transcript article on a bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives that would require lenders to respond to short sale offers within 45 days.

Back to TopCalendar of Events

SAturDay, Oct. 9, 2010

Real Estate Alumni Homecoming Reunion

Join us for an evening of food, festivities and friends as we celebrate Homecoming 2010! Professor Dave Davis’ band Phil ’n the Blanks will provide entertainment. The event is hosted by the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

  • 6:30 p.m.
  • Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Garden of the Sea, University of San Diego Campus
  • To RSVP, e-mail Guests are welcome.

TuesDay, Nov. 30, 2010

Breakfast at the BMC featuring Hamid Moghadam, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of AMB Property Corporation

  • 7:30 - 9 a.m.
  • Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, University of San Diego Campus
  • $35, includes registration fee and continental breakfast
  • To register, go here.
  • For questions or sponsorship opportunities, contact Diane Gustafson at (619) 260-2379 or

TuesDay, Dec. 14, 2010

11th Annual Residential Real Estate Conference: Outlook 2011

Join us for our 11th Annual Residential Real Estate Conference featuring speakers Leslie Appleton-Young, vice president and chief economist for the California Association of Realtors, Alan Gin, PhD, associate professor at the University of San Diego and Ryan Ratcliff, PhD, assistant professor at the University of San Diego. The event will be moderated by Joseph Anfuso ’84 (BBA), ’89 (MBA), president of Florsheim Homes.

  • 7:30 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Hahn University Center, University of San Diego Campus
  • $60, includes registration fee and breakfast; $550 for a table of 10
  • To register, go here.
  • For questions or sponsorship opportunities, contact Diane Gustafson at (619) 260-2379 or

Back to TopContinuing Education - Upcoming Courses and Seminars

STARTS Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010

Working with the Maze of Stakeholders


  • Course taught by Chris Morrow, senior vice president and planning director of Project Design Consultants
  • To register, contact Monica Phelps-Zambrano, or register online.
  • For more information on this course, go here. For more information on Real Estate Continuing Education, go here.

ThursDay, Nov. 4, 2010

Update on Tax Considerations in Real Estate


  • Seminar co-taught by Daniel Gatto, CPA, founding partner of Gatto, Pope & Walwick LLP and Phil Jelsma, partner of Luce Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP
  • To register, contact Monica Phelps-Zambrano, or register online.
  • For more information on this seminar, go here. For more information on Real Estate Continuing Education, go here.