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Letter from the Executive Director

Mark J. RiedyMark J. Riedy, PhD

In April 2011, Ian Gill, principal of Highland Partnership, assumed the chairmanship of the Burnham-Moores Center’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee. A past president of the Building Industry Association of San Diego and a member of RICS, Gill created and teaches the Center’s Master of Science in Real Estate course in “Design and Construction Management.” Gill’s lifelong real estate experience and extensive involvement in USD’s real estate program typifies the leadership, expertise and dedication of Executive Committee members in general and EC chairs in particular.

Gill succeeds Sherm Harmer Jr., president of Urban Housing Partners Inc. and past president of the Building Industry Association of San Diego County, as well as a former state legislator in Utah. Like Ian Gill, Harmer has designed and been responsible for teaching a graduate real estate course: “Urban and Suburban Development.” Harmer had served as EC chair since October 2008 and will continue in a different leadership role within the BMC as he leads a newly created task force.

WebinarThe BMC’s longest-serving chair was John M. Robbins Jr., public company CEO, and former USD Trustee as well as chair of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. Robbins led the formation of the real estate program’s Policy Advisory Board (PAB) in July 1995. He oversaw its expansion from 15 to 35 members and supported the metamorphosis of the original PAB into the PAB’s Executive Committee when the Commercial and Residential Real Estate Committees were formed more than a decade ago. The PAB’s fourth committee, the Young Entrepreneurs Council, was created to tap into the unique strengths of a small group of young industry professionals.

The charters of the four PAB committees are designed to help ensure the rigor and relevance of USD’s real estate program and its effectiveness in industry outreach and career opportunities for students. Every PAB committee has been blessed with strong leaders who provide direction to the committee and encouragement and support for USD’s real estate program. Working closely with the faculty and staff of the BMC, our Policy Advisory Board committees represent a core strength of the academic curriculum.

Committee chairs the likes of Ian Gill, Sherm Harmer and John Robbins serve as role models and inspirations to USD’s real estate students, faculty and staff through their dedication and leadership skills. Whatever challenges the future holds, USD’s real estate program will benefit from its terrific industry support and continue to educate the next generation of socially responsible leaders for this great industry.

Dr. Mark J. Riedy
Executive Director

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Seventh Cohort of MSRE Students Graduates

Graduation Photo
The Master of Science in Real Estate Class of 2011

On May 21, 21 Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) students marked the completion of their real estate studies at the University of San Diego commencement ceremony for masters and doctoral students held in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The commencement speaker was Matt Flannery, co-founder of, the world’s first online lending platform, who spoke about following your heart’s desire. After the ceremony, graduates and their families and friends attended a reception hosted by the School of Business Administration at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice.

A week later, the MSRE graduates, who make up USD’s seventh graduate real estate cohort, attended a private luncheon celebration with their classmates, professors and Burnham-Moores Center staff on the Olin Hall Patio. Students and faculty shared their fond sentiments about the program and received a congratulatory gift from the Center.

Graduation Congratulations
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Burnham-Moores Center Co-Hosting Sustainable Real Estate Webinar

The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate is co-hosting a “Valuing Sustainable Real Estate” webinar on Thursday, June 16 from 9 - 10:30 a.m. PDT. The speakers include: Nils Kok, PhD, from the University of California, Berkeley; James Finlay from Wells Fargo Bank; and Timothy Runde, MAI, LEED AP of Carneghi-Blum & Partners Inc. The webinar will cover the value impacts of sustainable real estate, starting with the economics of energy efficiency retrofits, followed by a discussion of how lenders currently view green building and sustainability. The presentation will conclude with a systematic, market-based approach to valuation that provides practical steps to overcome the current obstacles facing credible valuation of green building features and sustainable real estate.

Moderators include Norm Miller, PhD, from the Burnham-Moores Center; David Pogue, LEED AP, from CB Richard Ellis; and John Clapp, PhD, from the University of Connecticut.

To register for the webinar, go here.

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Incoming MSRE Students Attend Welcome Reception

Welcome Reception
(From left to right) Incoming MSRE students Dan Buoye, Eduvie Umukoro and Eric Held get to know each other during a welcome reception on campus May 12.

On May 12, incoming students for the Fall 2011 cohort of USD’s Master of Science in Real Estate program attended a welcome reception at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. During the reception, the group met Center faculty and staff as well as alums Bob Brittingham ’10 (MSRE) and Will Strong ’09 (MSRE), ’10 (MBA) who answered questions on the program and offered insights.

A few part-time openings are remaining in the Fall 2011 cohort, which begins Aug. 22. The program takes two years to complete on a part-time basis. For more information on entrance requirements and scholarship opportunities, contact Annie Grand at 619-260-7619. For more information on the program, go here.

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Continuing Education Course Receives DRE Approval

USD’s “Property and Asset Management” Continuing Education course recently received approval for credit from the state of California’s Department of Real Estate. The course, which is part of the Real Estate Certificates program, will be held Aug. 2, 16, 23 and 30 and be taught be Kurt Sullivan, CSM.

This is the first course in the university’s real estate Continuing Education program to be approved for DRE credit.

For more information on the program, go here. For questions, contact Monica Phelps-Zambrano at (619) 260-5986.

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Burnham Scholarship Recipients Meet Malin Burnham

Burnham Presentation
On May 10, MSRE students Brian Gates and Sean Giffin met with Malin Burnham, president of the Burnham Foundation, at the Burnham Foundation’s scholarship presentation at Cushman & Wakefield’s downtown office. At the meeting, each student received a $4,000 scholarship from the foundation. Malin Burnham established the Burnham Foundation, a private, non-profit, public benefit corporation, in 1980 and has since donated more than $8 million to community, education, health, arts and research organizations. (From left to right) Malin Burnham, Brian Gates, Sean Giffin and Pamela Legge of the Burnham Foundation.
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MSRE Students Present Redevelopment Plans to USD

Sherm Harmer
On May 26, as the final requirement of their “Urban and Suburban Development” course taught by Sherm Harmer (pictured above), president of Urban Housing Partners Inc., Master of Science in Real Estate students presented their redevelopment plans for the Morena Boulevard area adjacent to the University of San Diego campus to Len Hering, vice president for Business Services and Administration at USD. The area falls into San Diego’s North Bay Redevelopment project area. Last month, the students made a similar presentation to a group of city officials and private business owners.
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BMC Attends ICSC’s RECON Convention

Annie Grand, student and alumni services manager, speaks to a visitor at the University of San Diego booth at RECON, ICSC’s global retail real estate convention, held May 22-25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The University of San Diego’s booth drew prospective graduate and continuing education students, as well as parents of prospective undergraduate students. Attendance at the annual convention was up from 2010.
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Norm Miller Panelist at Homer Hoyt Institute

Norm Miller
Norm Miller, PhD

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, was a panelist at the Homer Hoyt Institute’s annual Fellows meeting in West Palm Beach, Fla., May 13. The panel discussed the topic: “Index Fest: A Smorgasbord of Commercial Real Estate Rent, Price and Total Return Indices.” Miller is on the board of directors of the Institute, which is an independent, non-profit research and educational foundation established in 1968 to improve the quality of public and private real estate decisions.

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Manzur Rahman Named Associate Dean of SBA

Manzur Rahman, PhD

Manzur Rahman, PhD, former director of MBA programs, has been appointed associate dean of the business school. In this role, Rahman will oversee all SBA graduate programs, as well as all degree-related Centers and Institutes, including the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate. Rahman’s appointment follows the departure of Associate Dean Steve Standifird, PhD, who accepted a position as dean at the Schroeder Family School of Business Administration at the University of Evansville in Indiana.

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Vivek Sah’s Academic Paper Accepted by Real Estate Journal

Vivek Sah
Vivek Sah, PhD

Assistant Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, recently had his paper, “IPO Market Timing: Evidence from the Operating Performance of REITs,” accepted for publication into the Journal of Property Investment and Finance, a top tier European real estate journal. The paper looked at whether REITs can time the market for their IPOs if they go public in clusters. This was Sah’s sixth publication since joining USD in the fall of 2009.

Back to TopIn the News

The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s first quarterly “Residential Real Estate Market Report” was covered in May 3, May 7 and May 13 San Diego Union-Tribune articles.

Executive Director Mark J. Riedy, PhD, and Associate Professor Alan Gin, PhD, were quoted in a May 5 Daily Transcript article on notices of default and foreclosures in San Diego County.

Norm Miller, PhD, and Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the May 7, May 14, May 21, May 28 and June 4 editions of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s “EconoMeter.” The May 28 story was also picked up by

Norm Miller, PhD, was quoted in a May 9 San Diego Union-Tribune article on mortgage fraud.

Norm Miller, PhD, was quoted in May 11 and May 14 San Diego Union-Tribune articles on homeownership in San Diego County. The second story was picked up by, and close to a dozen independent blogs.

The first-place honors received by a team of MSRE students participating in the 2011 Argus University Software Challenge was covered in the San Diego Union-Tribune May 19. The story also was picked up by and

Alan Gin and the Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, which he compiles for the Burnham-Moores Center, were mentioned in several outlets following the April release. Articles appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune, The Daily Transcript, the San Diego Business Journal, KPBS,, and

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ThURSDAY, JUne 16, 2011

“Valuing Sustainable Real Estate” Webinar

  • 9 - 10:30 a.m. PDT
  • Cost: Free
  • To register, go here.

This webinar gets to the heart of the value impacts of sustainable real estate, starting with the economics of energy efficiency retrofits, followed by a discussion of how lenders currently view green building and sustainability.


Nils Kok, PhD, University of California, Berkeley
James F. Finlay, Wells Fargo Bank
Timothy P. Runde, MAI, LEED AP, Carneghi-Blum & Partners Inc.


Norm G. Miller, PhD, University of San Diego
David L. Pogue, LEED AP, CB Richard Ellis
John Clapp, PhD, University of Connecticut

THURSDay, JULY 14, 2011

Real Estate Alumni Association’s Annual Bowling Tournament Fundraiser

Join the Real Estate Alumni Association for its annual bowling tournament to raise money for scholarships.

  • 6 - 8:30 p.m.
  • East Village Tavern and Bowl, 930 Market St., San Diego, 92101
  • $50.00 per player; includes bowling, shoe rental, appetizers and two drink tickets
  • To register, go here.
  • For sponsorship opportunities or questions, contact Annie Grand at

Back to TopContinuing Education - Upcoming Courses and Seminars


CEQA and other Environmental Regulations


  • Course taught by Ryan Birdseye, California Environmental Sciences and Planning Practice Leader with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.
  • 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. 10, 2011

Update on Tax Considerations in Real Estate