November 3, 2013

Cornell Seeks to Bolster Real Estate Program

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The new academic director of the School of Hotel Administration’s Center for Real Estate and Finance says he hopes to increase both the national and international reach of the center in the coming years.

Prof. Daniel Quan, real estate, was named director of the center at the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year. Quan, a former member of the Federal Reserve Board, said one of his goals is to improve the national ranking of Cornell’s real estate program. He said he is familiar with the factors that are used to produce rankings and is actively pursuing new evaluations of Cornell’s program.

“I’m fairly confident that if these ranking criteria are applied to our program, we would be placed as one of the top real estate programs in the country, if not the world,” he said.

Quan also said he hopes to add more of an international focus to the program.

These initiatives include hosting real estate roundtables around the world, as well as organizing an upcoming webcast with a prominent Hong Kong-based real estate executive that will focus on real estate practices in Asia.

Another project Quan said will broaden the real estate program’s reach is is the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition, which will be held Nov. 14 this year.

Quan said the five-year-old competition takes place every year in New York City and features teams of top real estate students from universities in China, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as top U.S. real estate programs. The teams are given four days to examine an actual real estate transaction and then present their analyses to a panel of judges made up of top real estate executives, according to the center’s website.

Quan added that the competition has grown significantly from six teams in 2009 to a group of 14 this year.

So far, the center has been successful in achieving its “educational mission,” which includes promoting the real estate minor, Quan said.

The minor, which was launched in 2009, has been very popular, growing to represent over 360 students across all colleges at Cornell, Quan said.

“We’re getting a tremendous response from students across campus, across all the colleges, for real estate education, and we’re happy to oblige and fulfill that need,” he said.

The second major function of the center is promoting the academic research published by Cornell’s real estate faculty, Quan said. He added that one of his goals for his term includes continuing to promote Cornell real estate research in top journals and expanding outreach programs that serve to strengthen Cornell’s real estate program in the public eye and in the industry.

Quan came to Cornell 14 years ago, having previously worked as the chief mortgage economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, according to a University profile.

He said he will continue to teach a full courseload –– including a class on hospitality real estate finance and a course on mortgage-backed securities.

Quan’s three-year term began at the start of this academic year. His term follows Prof. Jan deRoos, hotel finance and real estate, who led the program since its inception in 2009. Quan said he hopes to build on deRoos’ previous successes.

“He is the one who has grown this program to the level it is at right now. My task is to try to continue on that trajectory and, perhaps, bring it to new heights,” Quan said.