New Director Named for Real Estate Center

For the first time in its 30-year existence, the Murray H. Goodman Center for Real Estate Studies has a new director.

McKay Price, associate professor in the Perella Department of Finance, officially assumed his new duties as director on July 1. He replaces Stephen Thode, who retired.

Price, who joined the finance department in 2010, has taught classes in real estate, financial markets and institutions, and corporate finance. In 2017, he was selected by Poets&Quants, a leading resource for business education, for its inaugural list of Top 40 Undergraduate Business School Professors. Price was also ranked 12th in the world in research productivity for 2012-2016 in the Real Estate Academic Leadership rankings, based on number of contributions to the top three real estate academic journals.

His professional experience includes real estate development for Target Corp. in the northeastern United States and commercial real estate brokerage in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Price says he sees “tremendous potential” to grow the real estate program.

“We attract great students. They’re smart, they’re driven and they go on to do really good things. The alumni network is strong.  The faculty and staff are committed to, and have demonstrated, excellence.  Then we have the support and reputation of the College of Business and Economics and the university,” he says. “All the ingredients are there.”

At its founding in 1988, the real estate courses offered by the center were limited, but over time grew into a program with a strong curriculum. The real estate program now includes a real estate track in finance for finance majors and a real estate minor that is open to students in any major. A hallmark of the program is the Collins Family Real Estate Competition, which allows students to tackle real-world problems and present their analyses to a panel of academic and practitioner judges from across the country.

“Much of this is in place thanks to the entrepreneurial effort of Professor Thode,” says Price.

He plans to build on the center’s strengths.

“We’re a small school and already punch above our weight class, but I think we can expand our footprint even more,” Price says. “For example, there needs to be a greater Lehigh presence in the New York City commercial real estate scene.”

Price envisions an industry conference in New York City to increase the Goodman Center’s exposure among industry professionals and enable Lehigh students to have even more exposure to practitioners. Price says he has pitched the idea to several senior people in the field, and they have embraced it. For such an endeavor to succeed, Price says,  alumni support and participation will be crucial.

“A large number of faithful Lehigh real estate alumni have gone out of their way to help build the Lehigh brand in the past. I’m confident they will continue to do so as we move forward,” Price says. “Ultimately, this initiative ties in well with the fundamental purpose of the university. Our existence is centered on the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge. This is one more means of accomplishing that in a visible way.”