Center for Real Estate

A conversation with Morris Davis

The academic leader of the Center for Real Estate talks about why he plans to see “world-class, Rutgers and real estate” used synonymously in New Jersey, New York and around the world.

Q. What are the goals of the Center for Real Estate?

New Jersey has very valuable and strategically located land. 20% of Americans live within a four-hour drive. With this geographic importance and tremendous infrastructure, we need a center dedicated to cultivating and improving our assets, and making sure this activity emanates from an institution that really understands New Jersey. These facts drive our goals for the Center, which are educating through innovative curriculum; researching that can truly shape policy, and exchanging ideas and perspectives between students, faculty and industry leaders.

Q. What are your plans to extend the Center's reach?

As we establish ourselves as the top real estate program in the region, we’ll expand through our best practices. Our curriculum is designed to systematically build competencies that are relevant and in demand in the marketplace. We’ll have distance learning, and truly innovative undergraduate and master’s programs. Ultimately, our plans are to take this blueprint — to take what it means to be a world-class center for real estate education — and expand our influence across the United States. And, yes, the world.

Q. What role will research have at the Center?

Few universities document at the local, state level or national level what policies are needed to improve land use and economic well being, repair or even think about new infrastructure. We are going to be an absolute pioneer in research that has the power to drive standards and policy. Not just for New Jersey, not just for the New York metro area – which matters because it’s the number-one metro area in population and economic output, but for the whole country.

Q. Is wide industry involvement essential?

Yes! At a recent conference we focused on New Jersey cities in the last fifteen years. Architects shared what made projects successful and so did Newark developers. The Gold Coast panel included key politicians and developers. This is teamwork par excellence. Exactly the kind of expertise and enthusiasm we want.

Q: You have called the Center a 'hub.' Why?

We have a hub-and-spoke model. The Center is the hub, while students, faculty, industry and the community are the connecting spokes. Our purpose is to achieve a deep involvement in the community and offer real estate education that meets the complexities of the times. We look for pieces that fit together and lessons that are learned to create an institution that will redefine real estate education.

Q: How does the industry benefit?

Industry professionals help shape the experiences of the next generation of leaders. They mentor students from the start. In addition, at private events our students will learn from thought leaders. It’s a two way street, we introduce the industry to the faculty and the students who might very well be part of their future.