Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving in Michigan

Traveling over the Thanksgiving recess to my sister’s house in Western Michigan provided the perfect opportunity for me to visit Herman Miller. Why go to a furniture company ranked in Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For? Glad you asked. In the first semester of the Wisconsin Real Estate MBA program, teams of students research an organization for our Integrated Company Analysis (ICA) project.

Herman Miller is almost as interested in our project as we are in the company. They were extremely accommodating, setting up an appointment for me to meet with the Chief Administrative Officer who reports directly to the CEO. Representatives will attend our presentation at the end of the semester – so the pressure is on.

I was most impressed with employees’ enthusiasm for the company’s principals. Herman Miller takes the philosophical position that it is in the solutions business and happens to leave furniture behind. The company achieved sustainable design more than 50 years ago, when the topic was not in people’s vocabulary. Work is fun, with quirky sculptures throughout the offices and ping-pong tables in the café.

It is obvious why Herman Miller is ranked a top company. Now my group just needs to impress them with our report…

Travis Campbell is a first year MBA student in the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business. He moved back to the Midwest from NYC to pursue Real Estate at Madison while being closer to family. He thoroughly enjoyed having two Thanksgiving meals this year.

Update from MIPIM Asia

During the closing session of MIPIM Asia 2009 in Hong Kong on Nov 20th, UW Real Estate faculty member and department chair François Ortalo-Magné presented on the strong signs of economic growth in China and South East Asia. Now the full slide presentation is available. Comments/questions are welcome!

Lunch and learn with Stephen Malpezzi

Lorin and Marjorie Tiefenthaler Distinguished Chair in Real Estate and Academic Director of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate Stephen Malpezzi will present "Real Estate Research and the Financial Crisis: Past Lessons, Future Directions?" tomorrow at 12:30 pm 208 Old Music Hall on the Madison campus.

The presentation is part of the 2009-2010 URPL Faculty Lecture Series sponsored by the UW Department of Urban and Regional Planning. The brownbag forum aims to foster cross-campus research collaboration.

Lectures are open to the public so take advantage of this great opportunity!

Monday, November 23, 2009

UW-Madison furlough day set for Nov. 27

The Graaskamp Center and the entire University of Wisconsin-Madison campus will close on Thursday, Nov. 26, for the Thanksgiving holiday and on Friday, Nov. 27, as a mandated furlough day for most of its employees.

For more information on the closure, visit UW-Madison News.

Enjoy the holiday everyone!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Strong signs of economic growth in China and South East Asia

François Ortalo-Magné, Robert E. Wangard Chair in Real Estate, and Bret Wilkerson, CEO, Property and Portfolio Research, presented results of a survey of MIPIM delegates during the MIPIM Asia Closing Conference today. The survey found that attendees "were more optimistic about the state of the property market compared to the same time last year." "Delegates noted that there are strong signs of economic growth in China and South East Asia and that capital flows are now much stronger than in 2008." Read more about the 2009 survey via PR Newswire.

Ortalo-Magné led a delegation of Wisconsin Real Estate students to the MIPIM Asia event. It is a valuable opportunity for students to hear directly from leading decision makers in global real estate and to expand their international network. Wisconsin’s history of international expertise and activity sets it apart from other real estate programs. That longevity has led to unparalleled business and academic connections and affording students exceptional networking opportunities.

Also while in Hong Kong, Ortalo-Magné met with officials from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School to discuss the new partnership for the Global Real Estate Master (GREM) degree program. This innovative program brings together students from HKUST, HEC Paris and INCAE for a semester of intensive real estate training at Wisconsin. The first class will commence in Spring 2011. Visit the GREM program website at

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Real Estate students and alumni come together

Tonight is a joint meeting between the West Wisconsin region of the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association and the UW Real Estate Club. WREAA members, students and guests are invited to attend.

The program includes two very special speakers:
John Wasik, author of The Cul-de-sac Syndrome, financial columnist for Bloomberg News and 11 other books, and
Rick Harrison, author of Prefurbia: Reinventing the Suburbs: From Disdainable to Sustainable, and site designer extraordinaire.

This is a great networking opportunity for students and grads from the Wisconsin Real Estate Program. If you're interested in becoming a member of the club or the alumni association, staff will be available at the event tonight at the Pyle Center, starting at 6:00.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Macroeconomics=Fun to read?

Assistant Professor Morris A. Davis, Real Estate and Urban Land Economics, has authored his first textbook, “Macroeconomics for MBAs and Masters of Finance.”

The book, to be published by Cambridge University Press in December, has been praised for closing a gap between research and textbooks. Edward C. Prescott, 2004 Nobel Laureate and professor at Arizona State University, calls the book, “a dramatic improvement on what is currently available for teaching aggregate economics to MBAs and advanced undergraduates.”

The book covers the foundations of modern macroeconomic theory and provides readers with tools to equip them for advanced studies and professional careers. According to Finn E. Kydland, 2004 Nobel Laureate and professor of economics at University of California at Santa Barbara Davis, has “succeeded in introducing dynamics in a manageable way. At the same time, the book is fun to read.”

Read more at the Wisconsin School of Business Pressroom.

Panel discussion on segregation in America's urban areas

Today at 7:00 pm in the Memorial Union: panelists Stephen Malpezzi, Professor of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics, Doug Harris, Professor of Educational Policy Analysis, and David Canon, Professor of Political Science, will discuss the issue of segregation in America's urban areas. This free discussion is sponsored by the Wisconsin Union Directorate.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wisconsin Real Estate partners with China, Costa Rica and France for new degree

The Wisconsin School of Business will attract some of the brightest real estate students from the top business schools in Asia, Europe and Latin America with a highly innovative Global Real Estate Master (GREM) program.

The program builds on the Wisconsin School of Business's expertise and tradition in real estate education, strong alumni network and international industry connections.

Students from around the world are offered the choice to start the program at one of three business schools, each one top ranked on its continent: HEC Paris, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and INCAE Business School in Costa Rica. To gain their real estate expertise, students converge in the second phase of the GREM program at the Wisconsin School of Business for a semester of intensive classroom training and field experience.

This premier educational partnership offers students a unique experience because of the quality of the consortium of partner business schools and the creativity of the GREM concept.

Read more about this cutting-edge graduate degree at UW-Madison News.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Looking for top talent in real estate finance?

In both good times and tough times, smart companies invest in human capital. They know smart people make smart decisions and create competitive advantage, absolutely critical in a down-market.

Wisconsin Real Estate is a top ranked education program, producing some of the best and brightest young real estate professionals, ready and eager to make significant contributions to the leading companies of the world. It's easy to recruit smart candidates for internships and permanent positions.

The UW Real Estate Club offers a unique recruitment event in Madison in February 2010. The career fair is an opportunity to generate interest in your company and meet a wide range of candidates in a short, cost-effective visit. The club is accepting applications now for exhibitors at this career event. Contact Sharon McCabe, Associate Director of Recruiting/Career Services in the Graaskamp Center at

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Public listening session to gather input on the Edgewater redevelopment

Hammes Co. has accepted the invitation of the UW-Madison Real Estate Program to participate in a discussion with the general public and the university community today from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 313 at the Pyle Center.

The Pyle Center is located at 702 Langdon Street, next door to the Red Gym.

The developer is participating in this opportunity for citizens to view the revised redevelopment plans, and to welcome comments and suggestions from the public and university community. For more detailed information on the redevelopment of the Edgewater Hotel, visit the following website: