Dear Alumni, Board Members and Friends,
On January 23rd the University formally approved the re-activation of Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE), and we plan to have the first MSRE class enrolled in Fall 2019. It’s baaacckk!
The approval came after a seven-level process dedicated to maintaining the academic integrity of new programs and program financial viability. I would like to give a special shout-out to Sharon McCabe and the entire staff of the Center and Department for obtaining this approval in record time. As some of you may recall, most of the graduate business programs were folded into the MBA in 2005 in an effort to focus more narrowly on MBA excellence. Since then, we heard from many of you that the re-activation of the MSRE was one of the top priorities for the Center and Department. We delivered!
However, now we need your help. We need to recruit the best undergraduate talent in the U.S. and around the world to populate the re-activated MSRE program. So we have created a challenge for each of the ten WREAA Regional offices: Send us at least three of your best and brightest undergraduate talents and recent graduates to ensure we have a full inaugural class! Let’s show WSB and UW-Madison leadership that the strength and draw of the Wisconsin MSRE program is both national and international. I know you are up to the challenge, so bring it!
Speaking of School leadership, the WSB named Dr. Vallabh Sambamurthy the Nicholas Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business beginning Aug. 1. Dr. Sambamurthy, who goes by “Samba”, currently serves as Eli Broad Professor and Associate Dean of the MBA and professional master’s programs for the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Dr. Sambamurthy has already directly reached out to the Graaskamp Center. You can read more about Dr. Sambamurthy’s background and many achievements here.
In the last newsletter from the Graaskamp Center, Tim Riddiough highlighted the new faculty and staff and discussed some of the Department’s initiatives for the coming year. I would like to build on that and share a bit about the undergraduate interest in the study of Real Estate. Based on 2018-19 data, there are 465 undergraduate real estate majors in the School, up from 134 in 2011-12. Additionally, the Real Estate Process course (RE306) will enroll more than 600 students this year, which is a remarkable level of interest. I am honored to be teaching RE306 this semester, the one course that Jim Graaskamp taught almost every semester during his academic tenure at the UW.
Over the coming months I hope to see many of you as I travel throughout the country. I will be presenting at alumni receptions/luncheons for the WSB in Denver, Los Angeles, and Chicago this spring with others to follow. I will also be on the road with the Graaskamp Center looking for input from many of you on the strategic direction of the Center, including academic outcomes that you want to see from our graduates. This is an active effort to ensure that the Center focuses on initiatives you find important, engages the brightest minds in real estate with thought- and technology-leading curriculum, and provides the industry with best-trained talent.
On a personal note, I am thrilled to be back home! As many of you know, I received all my degrees from the University of Wisconsin and there is no better feeling than going back to your alma mater to teach, research, and reach out to the industry. I am overwhelmed by the alumni support and goodwill that I have received in my transition back to Wisconsin. Additionally, Tim Riddiough, Abdullah Yavas, Andra Ghent, Mike Brennan, Sharon McCabe, Lee Gottshalk, Mary Brost, and the entire faculty and staff of the Graaskamp Center and Department have been tremendously welcoming of me.Thank you all!