A conversation with Morris A. 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 valuable and strategically located land, and 20% of Americans live within a four-hour drive of its borders. Given its geographic importance and vital infrastructure, New Jersey requires a world class center for Real Estate to focus on advancing the productivity of its assets and cultivating and improving human and physical capital — not only in New Jersey and New York but the United States and the world. Our strategy to accomplish this mission revolves around three core principles: Educating through the design and implementation of an innovative and thoughtful curriculum, taught by world-class professors and lecturers; Researching that has both academic and industry relevance, with an eye towards advancing knowledge and shaping public policy, and Exchanging ideas, perspectives and best practices between students, faculty and industry leaders in the classroom and at events and conferences.

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

Once we establish ourselves as the region’s top real estate program, we will expand by leveraging our best-in-field practices. Right now, we offer innovative Undergraduate and Master’s programs and degrees, on site at Rutgers, with a curriculum that builds competence and skills that are in high demand. As industry and professional awareness of the strength of our program builds, we will take our blueprint for relevant, world-class real estate education and expand our influence across the United States and the globe. Wherever we go, we will adhere to our three core principles:  Educating students in-class, Researching solutions to academic and industry-relevant problems, and organizing conferences for the Exchanging of ideas between students, researchers, industry professionals and public-policy makers.

“A great center focuses on educating the industry as well as students.”
Q. What role will research have at the Center?

World class universities produce world class research. This research is essential to advance knowledge and to produce solutions to problems. We need more research on land and the built environment with the potential to improve economic well-being at the local, state national and international levels. Examples of relevant research topics include developing policies to improve land use and researching the right quantity and financing of infrastructure. Right now, very few Real Estate Centers produce research that has the potential to affect real estate productivity or public policy today. With this background in mind, we are committed to make the Rutgers Center for Real Estate a pioneer in research that has the power to drive local and national standards and policy. A great center focuses on educating the industry as well as students. Even our research projects that focus on New Jersey have the potential to improve productivity everywhere. New Jersey is centrally located in the Boston – Washington, DC corridor; anything that is good for New Jersey is good for the United States and the world.