Faculty members from the University”s Business, Law, and Architecture and Urban Planning schools will meet in January to discuss adding a real estate certification program for the fall 2002 semester.

Open to graduate students in the aforementioned schools, the program would require a student to take an additional term to meet the requirements for the certificate, said Douglas Kelbaugh, dean of Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The real estate initiative was created in response to growing student interest in the field.

“We”ve been receiving huge amounts of calls from students looking for programs in real estate and sustainable development,” said Urban Planning Prof. Margaret Dewar, chair of the real estate initiative committee. “We still have to go through a lot of approval, so who knows what might happen. It”s still in a very early stage of gestation,” Dewar said.

“We hope someday that the program will blossom into executive education and possibly a small, full-degree program,” Kelbaugh said.

Although the Business School currently offers degrees in real estate finance, the proposed curriculum will focus less on the profit gaining aspects of the industry and more on “designing things in a ways that make life better,” said Dewar.

The course of study will emphasize issues surrounding real estate development including community building, city-working and environmental preservation.

“There is rising concern in real estate among professionals both inside and outside of the academic field about the declining quality of the built environment as well as the deterioration of the natural environment. There are faculty, student and professional frustrations with the inability of a single discipline or profession to adequately deal with these problems,” he said.

Kelbaugh added that as an interdisciplinary program, it would take advantage of the University”s strong array of existing programs in architecture, urban planning, business and law. Other potential participating schools may include the School of Public Policy and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment.

“I think there is more of an influence for people to go into the financial aspect of real estate, but having a program that deals with the fine arts of the industry is a good idea,” said Kris Medina, an LSA freshman.

Starting in January 2002, the College of Architecture and Urban Planning will offer two real estate classes, “The Structure of Real Estate Deals” and “The Architecture Planner as Developer.” Both will be taught by University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee architecture Prof. Harvey Rabinowitz.

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