Chair Lift

New Chancellor’s Chair celebrates Ken Rosen

Professor Kenneth Rosen speaking at a real estate conference.

Anyone familiar with Haas’ real estate program knows the name Kenneth Rosen. A professor emeritus and chairman of real estate market research firm Rosen Consulting Group, he’s revered for his long-running real estate and economic forecasts. He’s also chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics and is directly responsible for the Center’s revitalization starting in the ’80s—which led to Haas’ recognition today as one of the nation’s leading real estate programs.

To honor Rosen’s immeasurable legacy—and to maintain the program’s strong reputation—a group of donors has given $1 million each to establish the Kenneth T. Rosen Chancellor’s Chair in Real Estate.

The Chancellor’s Chair represents a new model for UC Berkeley, one designed both to retain outstanding faculty and to attract new talent. Part of the money will support a professor’s research, teaching, and academic initiatives. The remaining money will fund a new full-time real estate faculty member.

Donor Kevin Shields, BS 82, MBA/JD 85, attests to the importance of faculty in drawing students. “The reason I decided to get an MBA was the opportunity to study under Ken,” says Shields, chairman and CEO of Griffin Capital. “He became my mentor and had a profound effect on the trajectory of my career.”

Lecturer Bill Falik, also a donor to the Chair, illustrates the investment faculty make in the success of students. Under his tutelage, Haas teams have won three of the last four UT Austin Real Estate Challenges—a premier case-based competition for 20 top-ranked business schools—despite having a smaller faculty than virtually all the competitor schools. “Haas could well have the best real estate training of any business school in the country,” he says. “Hiring additional faculty would help continue that success.”

The Fisher Center was one of the first real estate and urban economics programs nationwide when founded in 1948 by Paul Wendt and Sherman Maisel. Maisel hired Rosen in 1979, who in turn expanded the Center by hiring the late professor Dwight Jaffee and professors Bob Edelstein and Nancy Wallace.

The Chair will also support the innovation that’s a hallmark of the program. The real estate curriculum, for example, has recently been reshaped to focus on sustainability amid climate change.

The donors to the Chair have all been involved with the Policy Advisory Board, a group of academics, policy makers, and business leaders Rosen established to transform real estate at Haas into an interdisciplinary center not reliant on state funding. Their willingness to establish the Chair reflects the strong alliances Rosen created in service to real estate at Haas.

The donors include: Shields and his wife, Eileen; Falik and his wife, Diana Cohen; George and Judy Marcus; Ken and Donna Coit; the Fisher Family in honor of Don, BS 50, and Doris Fisher; Dan, BA 89 (political science), and Jaclyn Safier; and an anonymous donor.