Feb. 1, 2017

Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies pioneers 1st university real estate specialization in Alberta

Haskayne School of Business officially launches new BComm concentration and MBA specialization in real estate
From left: Ron Ghitter, co-founder, Westman Centre Advisory Council; Jay Westman, chairman and CEO, Jayman BUILT; Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic), University of Calgary; Jyoti Gondek, director, Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies; and Jim Dewald, dean, Haskayne School of Business celebrate the launch of the new BComm and MBA specialization in Real Estate Studies on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. Photo by Kelly Hofer, for the Haskayne School of Business

From left: Ron Ghitter, Jay Westman, Dru Marshall, Jyoti Gondek, and Jim Dewald.

Kelly Hofer, for the Haskayne School of Business

Alberta is experiencing an economic disruption like no other. Our recovery will demand leaders who are critical thinkers and actively seeking out new solutions to ongoing challenges. Success in real estate will be dependent upon understanding increasingly complex operating environments, from addressing issues of vacancy rates and downsized workforces, to retrofitting established communities and identifying ideal mixed uses.

In response, the Haskayne School of Business announced last night the launch of a Bachelor of Commerce concentration and Master of Business Administration specialization in real estate studies to begin in the fall. Through the combined efforts of the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies and faculty leaders, the approval of these programs within the BComm and MBA programs is a milestone achievement for the school and Canadian real estate education.

Training critical thinkers and solutions-based collaborators

“Our goal is to create a holistic education in real estate and city building where students graduate prepared to take on the challenges in front of them,” said Jyoti Gondek, the director of the Westman Centre. “Training students to be critical thinkers and solutions-based collaborators will allow them to be great leaders in the field of real estate.”

“This is a leap forward for Haskayne," said Jim Dewald, dean of of the Haskayne School of Business. "Through the cutting-edge research and expertise housed in the Westman Centre, the Haskayne School has responded to industry demand by giving our graduates increasingly sophisticated skills to pursue real estate investment, development, and operations. These changes to our programming will benefit the industry and our communities for generations.”

First real estate program for BComm or MBA students in Alberta

No other post-secondary institution in Alberta offers real estate programs for BComm or MBA students. Haskayne will welcome its first cohort of real estate students in September 2017 and in addition to classwork they will have access to programs designed to develop students into highly skilled, forward-thinking real estate leaders through panel presentations, case competition opportunities and invitations to key industry events. Course work will be unique in the use of evidence-based cases and project work to encourage students to hone their skills in the various aspects of real estate and land development.

The real estate specialization enables students who are passionate about the field to be integrated with like-minded peers, encouraging a strong support system throughout their BComm or MBA studies.

Jay Westman: Elevate our industry and the people we serve

"Real estate is a complex business and it's not getting any simpler. This achievement in specialized education will not only elevate our industry but the people we serve," said Jay Westman, chairman and CEO, Jayman BUILT, and donor whose $5-million gift established the centre in 2013.

"I am thrilled that the Westman Centre has been able to provide rigorous, fact-based research that cuts through the sea of opinions and helps create a common sense path for all stakeholders. As a result, we are beginning to see changes in how the industry and regulators work together. When the community-building process becomes collaborative like this, everyone wins."

Learn more about the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies and these programs.