Auburn University launches Institute for Real Estate Development
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A leader in the education of real estate development professionals, Auburn University announced a new institute for real estate development that will position Auburn to become a nationally recognized hub for exceptional real estate education, thought leadership and research innovation in all major real estate sectors.
Funded by a $5 million principal gift from an anonymous donor, the institute will build on the strengths of the Auburn Master of Real Estate Development, or MRED, program, a graduate degree offered jointly by the Raymond J Harbert College of Business and the College of Architecture, Design and Construction.
“Having a strong graduate program in real estate development helped get the institute off the ground,” said MRED Director Justin Benefield, Walker Reynolds Bickerstaff Professor in the Harbert Finance Department. “But the donor has a bigger vision: to continue to professionalize and train the next generation of real estate professionals in learning, application and integrity. Auburn is uniquely positioned to do this because we have the right mix of institutional resources. »
These resources include a highly integrated approach to teaching real estate development that includes expertise in design, contract and construction, financing and investment structures, engineering, e-commerce, hotel management and business development. other disciplines.
“One of the main objectives of the institute is to prepare our students to understand the financial aspects of real estate and to acquire the knowledge necessary to manage a real estate project or an entire portfolio of projects,” said Regions Bank Professor Joe Hanna and Acting Dean Harbert. “The effective management of real estate projects and investments clearly involves aspects of architecture, construction and finance. It is the ability to bring these aspects together through the institute that makes the collaboration between Harbert College and CDAC particularly valuable and somewhat unique.
“The institute provides CDAC and our colleagues at Harbert College of Business with a wonderful vehicle to further strengthen our partnerships within the real estate development and investment community,” said David Hinson, Associate Dean and Professor R. Hugh Daniel at the College of Architecture. , Design and construction. “I am very excited that the institute will help expand real estate education opportunities for Auburn students and industry professionals.”
The institute is built on three pillars: exceptional real estate education, thought leadership for the industry, and professional development and continuing education.
real estate education
The institute will provide working professionals with exceptional training through the existing MRED Executive Degree Program, through which students gain the skills and knowledge to shape communities and change the way people work, live and live. have fun within them. Since its inception ten years ago, MRED has graduated nearly 200 professionals who plan, finance and build economically sustainable real estate developments based on principles both taught in the classroom and experienced first-hand via field studies for successful developments in the United States and abroad.
The institute will expand its real estate degree offerings to a wider student population by creating a real estate minor for undergraduates and offering new real estate-related graduate certificates.
Thought Leadership for Industry
Changing real estate trends and fluctuating markets create demand for professionals who can navigate a new level of sophistication. The institute will help practitioners better understand advances in technology, capital formation and global banking by conducting and disseminating authoritative real estate research and expert analysis.
Additionally, the institute will provide real estate developers, faculty, students and other industry professionals with networking and learning opportunities through an expanded CityBuilders Symposium. Inspired by the MRED-sponsored CityBuilders conference series, the multi-day conference will feature national commercial real estate leaders to share industry knowledge and best practices for economically sustainable development projects that benefit communities. .
Professional development, continuing education
The institute will respond to the industry’s growing need for new practitioners who employ an appropriate set of professional and ethical standards by offering new professional certifications in specific areas. The institute will also produce and disseminate timely and valuable educational materials on real estate through blogs, podcasts and social media platforms.
The institute’s announcement came during the MRED program’s 10th anniversary celebration Sept. 30, which brought together MRED graduates, Auburn faculty, and real estate professionals on the Auburn campus. .