NEW YORK CITY-Beginning what he calls “a new period in my life,”Trinity Real Estate’s former president, Carl Weisbrod, is movinginto academia. Before he teaches his first class, though, he’ll beback in an accustomed role, which is to get something off theground. He was founding president of the New York City EconomicDevelopment Corp. in 1990 and later served in a similar capacity atthe Alliance for Downtown New York; at New York University, he’llspearhead the development of the university’s new curriculum inglobal real estate.

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“I’m going to spend the first several months trying to plot thisout,” Weisbrod tells GlobeSt.com. Working closely with JamesStuckey, divisional dean of NYU’s Schack Instiute of Real Estate,Weisbrod will help guide the implementation of courses andrecruitment of faculty for the new program. He’ll also continue toserve as a consultant to Trinity Real Estate, where he oversaw asix-million-square-foot commercial portfolio.

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Weisbrod says it’s too soon to tell what those courses will looklike. He adds, however, “The world has become increasingly global.We think of real estate as being perhaps the most local of issuesand disciplines, but in fact it also has become increasinglyglobal.”

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Given this globalization, Weisbrod says, “There are lessons tobe learned throughout the world and opportunities to teachthroughout the world: things that we do well in this country andthings that we could learn from others.” He says it’s a criticalfunction of any university to provide such opportunities, “andparticularly important as real estate and real estate finance areincreasingly globalized.”

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Weisbrod spent 12 years as a trustee of the Ford Foundation; inthat capacity, he says, he’s had an opportunity to see some of theissues that have arisen with the majority of the world’s populationnow living in cities. “That creates a huge number of challenges,both physical and social,” says Weisbrod. “As this urbanization ofthe world has accelerated, sometimes we tend to look at socialchallenges and physical challenges separately.” Integrating thesetwo sets of challenges, and devising solutions that address both,is one of Weisbrod’s interests that could help shape thedevelopment of the new curriculum.

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Over a career that has spanned four decades in both the publicand private sectors, “I’ve been working on issues that I reallylove and areas I really love,” says Weisbrod. “I felt it was timeto take a step back and first, teach some of the things that Ithink I’ve learned over the decades and second, take theopportunity to get a broader perspective on real estate,development and the like.”

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The chance to “cross-fertilize” at NYU drew Weisbrod to theSchack Institute. “One of the great things about NYU is that thereare opportunities for students in different schools to take coursesthat involve several different disciplines,” he says. “A lot of thework I’ve done over the past 30 years has been involved indifferent disciplines: real estate, finance, construction,business, law, public policy. The opportunity to integrate all ofthat at NYU, particularly under Jim Stuckey’s leadership as dean,is very exciting.” Weisbrod will formally join NYU in January andteach his first class there in fall 2011.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.