Every spring, as predictably as the San Diego flowers bloom, USD seniors and MSRE students get serious about career opportunities. Lines form for visits with John Ferber, who handles the Center's career placement efforts. Internships take center stage, resumes are sharpened, and students look for every chance they can get for face time with industry executives.
One such opportunity was the Real Estate Society's March 13 panel discussion on "Ethics in Real Estate," featuring Keith Johnson, co-founder of Fieldstone Communities, Barbara Cambon, developer, former pension fund adviser and past chair of the Pension Real Estate Association, and Hank Cunningham, vice president at Bank of America.
Other face time opportunities for real estate students within the first two weeks of March include three students who spoke at a luncheon meeting of Lambda Alpha International members, as well as an estimated 75 students who will meet prospective employers at the March 15 Career Expo held on campus.
Throughout the spring, industry executives also will be mentoring USD real estate students, providing internships and part-time jobs, volunteering their time counseling students on career directions, guest-lecturing in classes, and teaching in our certificate program on Real Estate Finance, Investments and Development.
We truly are blessed to have so many successful executives willing to invest their valuable time helping to ensure that our students receive an outstanding personalized education at USD. And while we have many and generous volunteers, we could always use more. I promise you that the rewards — measured in personal satisfaction and access to some of the finest young minds in America — will be well worth the time investment.
Dr. Mark J. Riedy
BusinessWeek Ranks USD's Undergraduate Business Program in Top 50 Nationwide
BusinessWeek magazine has ranked the University of San Diego's program as one of the top undergraduate business programs in the nation. USD's program was ranked 46th on the magazine's list of the Top 50 programs, which was just published. USD was the only university in San Diego County that received a ranking for its undergraduate business program and was the fourth highest-ranked program in California.
"Being ranked among the best business schools is quite an honor, and it is a reflection of the high quality of the students and faculty at USD," said Andrew Allen, interim dean of the School of Business Administration. "Raising the national prominence of the business school is a top priority of the school's strategic plan."
While there are more than 1,600 business schools in the United States, BusinessWeek only considered schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for inclusion in the ranking. From the list of 485 undergraduate business programs with AACSB accreditation, the publication narrowed the list down to the Top 93 schools. This was the second year BusinessWeek ranked undergraduate business programs, and the first time USD was included.
"Small class sizes and accessible professors contributed to the school's debut in the BusinessWeek ranking," explained associate professor Steven Standifird, the school's first undergraduate program director. "Our goal is to continue to improve every aspect of our already strong program."
To identify the best business programs, BusinessWeek used five measures, including a survey of nearly 80,000 business majors at top schools and a poll of undergraduate recruiters. The ranking is based on the "index number," which represents the sum of all five ranking measures. BusinessWeek also calculated letter grades on teaching quality, facilities and services, and job placement based on the student survey.
Norm Miller, Ph.D., will be joining the Burnham-Moores Center this fall.
We decided to check in with Norm Miller a month after he made official his decision to leave the University of Cincinnati after 26 years and join the Burnham-Moores Center as professor and director of academic programs next fall.
Q: So what has the past month been like for you? A: Some crying and lots of hugging. I formally announced the move last Friday, March 9, to about 150 of our supporters at a breakfast meeting. I told them I asked the club not to serve any tomatoes on the buffet that day. They laughed and then someone yelled "Thanks," and they gave me a standing ovation. It was very touching. That same afternoon, our business paper sent a reporter to interview me about the move.
People have been sending notes and calling, and I want to take the time to write a personal reply to each one. Some of them are bittersweet, and some of them are tough to respond to. A lot of people have said that they wish I wasn't leaving, but most of them are very happy for me. I'm also a little nervous about the recruiting prospects here because we have not yet landed someone to run the center.
Plus, we have so many students right now. I have 20 students trying to get into my course next quarter, which is already at room capacity — 50 — since the word has gotten around that it will be my last one here. I've never had that much clamoring for my classes before! So I'm trying to please the students and the constituencies here as much as I can. Between that and ARES and NAIOP and CCIM and Homer Hoyt, my schedule is pretty full.
Q: Given that you were entertaining several employment offers, what was the decision-making process like for you? A: It was very, very tough, particularly because one of the other private opportunities I was considering would have allowed me to work with one of my closest friends, who lives in Hawaii. The position would have required me to travel globally 70 to 80 percent of the time, though, and I kept thinking when my daughter has kids, would I be able to spend time with them in San Diego? Between the family ties and the extraordinary potential that USD's program has to become one of the finest in the nation, I knew it was the right decision to make. I just hope all the staff and faculty I have met at USD stick around for a long time. I'm excited about the move and the opportunity to help build upon what Mark and his team have started.
Q: What is your sense of the possibilities in San Diego regarding real estate scholarship? A: I think a lot could be done with connections to Mexico, and it would be natural to try and assist on U.S./Mexican real estate collaborations. Also, the area of affordable housing is ripe, and we could look at how to export affordable housing ideas to other places and even other countries. I'm also interested in international investment. I believe that some of the things we've done here in Cincinnati are transportable to USD, and some of the things you do there that I think are great, hopefully, I can complement.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about living in San Diego? A: I want to join a sailing club — of course! I was in one in Chicago, and I'd like to join one in San Diego. That way, you get access to different boats. I'm really looking forward to that as a diversion.
More than 20 private and public organizations are scheduled to take part in USD's Fifth Annual Real Estate Career Expo, slated for March 15 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Hahn University Center. Employers will be given booth space free of charge, as well as lunch and a book of student resumes.
The expo is open to all undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing careers in real estate, including MSRE candidates. So far, more than 70 students have pre-registered for the event, with more expected to attend.
MSRE Students Leah Taylor and Jason Luker share their experiences with LAI members
Three USD real estate students appeared as "future leaders" at a March 6 Lambda Alpha International luncheon meeting. The USD students were one of three area academic programs represented at the luncheon; students from the NewSchool of Architecture & Design and Woodbury University's School of Architecture and Design also attended. The students were asked to share their views on their educational experiences and career preparations to the Lambda Alpha members, who are well established in the industry.
USD was represented by Anthony Romanelli, an undergraduate student and member of the Real Estate Society, and MSRE students Jason Luker and Leah Taylor.
Luker explained to those in attendance his rationale for choosing USD's Master of Science in Real Estate program for graduate school, as opposed to a more traditional MBA path. "I knew what I wanted to do as a career, and this was the most efficient way to do that," he said. "To make a meaningful impact in the real estate industry, you really have to accelerate your education. There is also a huge responsibility you take on when you work in real estate. You owe it your community to educate yourself."
In her remarks, Taylor provided a snapshot of the current MSRE class, who will be graduating in July, while Romanelli discussed upcoming events planned by the Real Estate Society.
Sherm Harmer, a chapter director of LAI's San Diego chapter and the facilitator for the March meeting, credited the Burnham-Moores Center's executive director Mark Riedy and the Center's management team for much of the program's success.
"One of the biggest things that's happened in our community was in 1992 when Mark Riedy showed up," Harmer said. "USD is a leading institution and has done so much to establish more professionalism in the field of real estate."
Real estate developer Bob Bilbray BS '69, JD '72 spoke to the MSRE class Feb. 26 on the increasing importance of water availability and water rights on the real estate industry.
Bilbray has dealt with the issue head on in Laughlin, Nev., a former mining town 90 miles south of Las Vegas in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Bilbray has helped to turn the town into a flourishing tourist destination and gambling resort. It is, in fact, the third most-visited casino and resort destination in Nevada.
Bilbray urged students to consider the importance of water rights in their future real estate careers. He said that, if he were to recast his own career path, he would have specialized in water rights litigation.
"Back in the 1960s, the buzzword for future employment was 'plastics,'" Bilbray told the students. "Today, it's 'water rights.'"
Curriculum and Research Committee Weighs in on Course Changes
The Curriculum and Research Committee convened Feb. 23 to discuss the Center's academic programs and faculty and staff members' research and publications. The committee meeting was the second since the group was formed last year.
In its discussions, the committee focused on possible revisions to the MSRE curriculum, which has been in place for three years. In particular, the committee grappled with whether to continue to offer the Strategic Management of Real Estate Assets class, which has been difficult to find both a focus and instructor for. Lisa Chambers, the Center's director of Academic Affairs, suggested replacing the course with one in construction management, to help complement the program's strong finance orientation.
Several committee members advised against removing the course from the curriculum, given the high degree of relevance it holds once students enter the profession. Chambers said that she and Charles Tu, interim academic director of the Master of Science in Real Estate Program, would weigh the group's feedback in making the changes, which must be approved by the business school's Graduate Studies Committee.
Chambers also announced that an undergraduate real estate minor will be available to USD students beginning in the fall of 2007, and an undergraduate major is slated for the fall of 2009.
Alumni Association Advisory Committee Convenes for First Time
On March 6, the leadership of the USD Real Estate Alumni Association met for the first time with four of the six members of its newly formed Advisory Committee: Charlie Abdi, James Brennan, Bob Cummings and Chris Pascale. The committee met with association president Kip Perry, as well as vice-chairs Dan Berkus, Kelly Colosimo and Jason Kimmel. Mark Riedy and Lisa Chambers attended as Center liaisons.
The Advisory Committee was created to provide guidance to the Alumni Association and help bridge the gap between more senior and recent alumni. The Advisory Committee was deemed necessary, given the rapid growth of the Alumni Association, which is primarily attracting young alumni from USD's undergraduate, MBA and MSRE programs, plus several USD Law School alums whose practices focus on real estate.
The Burnham-Moores Center has been able to identify more than 700 USD alumni actively involved in real estate but know that at least double that number exist in the industry. If you are aware of other alums who are not currently receiving this newsletter, e-mail Lauren Lukens with their contact information.
The Alumni Association plans to launch its own e-newsletter later this year. In the interim, Pipeline will continue to provide coverage of alumni-oriented activities.
Mark Riedy, executive director, was interviewed by Sam Hodgson of the San Diego Daily Transcript on Feb. 26 on technology and real estate.
Lou Galuppo, residential real estate director, appeared on the Real Estate Today radio program which aired Feb. 27 on CASH 1700. That same day, Lou also was interviewed by Mike Freeman of the San Diego Union Tribune regarding real estate data sources. On March 8, Lou was interviewed by Steve Bosch of KUSI News on the legal aspects of option ARMs.
Charles Tu, associate professor, was interviewed by Mike Allen of the San Diego Business Journal on the fall of the subprime mortgage market.
The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate is committed to delivering outstanding education, industry outreach, career placement, and research services to advance socially responsible leadership in real estate.
University of San Diego, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110-2492