Vandell will begin his tenure at UCI, which includes aprofessorship in finance, in July 2006. He will be making monthlyvisits to the school until then and will be part of the school'songoing breakfast series for the public on real estate topics. Inaddition, he will direct the school's curriculum for MBA studentsinterested in a career in the real estate industry.

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Policano calls Vandell's appointment an important step for thenew center, which was announced in June and has received foundinggifts of more than $1.5 million. The Center for Real Estate at ThePaul Merage School of Business is designed to produce MBA graduateswith special training in the real estate industry and in relateddisciplines such as urban planning, environmental and legalissues.

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The center will also conduct research and propose public policysolutions to challenges faced by the real estate industry. Itsestablishment on the Irvine campus fulfills what many in theindustry see as a long-term need in Orange County for an academicresource to analyze industry trends and provide a forum to discussthe issues and challenges faced by the county in land use andplanning.

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In April, entrepreneur and Orange County resident Paul Meragegave a $30 million gift to the school, which was subsequentlyrenamed for him. Policano, who became dean of the business schoolin August 2004, says that the new Center for Real Estate willemphasize trend analysis and strategic planning to assist theindustry in anticipating the cyclical changes and other forces atwork in the real estate markets.

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