Mike Eriksen, the incoming director of the new Dean V. White Real Estate Finance Program at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, is anxious to share his passion with students.
“One of my strengths is getting people excited about real estate,” he says. “I really enjoy working with students, introducing them to the field, and seeing their successes.”
Prior to joining Krannert, Eriksen served as the West Shell Associate Professor of Real Estate at the University of Cincinnati and academic director of the UC Real Estate Center. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and biology from Gonzaga University, and a PhD in economics from Syracuse University. He was previously on the faculty at the University of Georgia and Texas Tech University, and was a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in 2019.
Eriksen’s interest in economics and real estate began during his undergraduate years while doing research on American Indian reservations. “I'm an urban economist, so I like to look at how tax policies and government effect how we live, where we live, and why we live the way that we do,” he says.
His research has appeared in top academic journals and has been cited in both national media and U.S. Congressional testimony about potential reforms to real estate markets. Eriksen has also received financial support for his research from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Research Institute for Housing America, Ohio Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Eriksen’s arrival at Krannert comes with high expectations. “All of the schools where I taught had existing real estate programs, so what attracted me to Krannert was the opportunity to start something from scratch,” he says. “My goal is to create something unique that benefits students, the profession, and the State of Indiana.”
His first priority will be to increase the number of students who are taking advantage of Krannert’s new minors in real estate and real estate finance. The minors aim to attract both existing undergraduate Krannert students already majoring in business, and other students from different schools and colleges at Purdue.
“We’d like to have about 100 students from across campus in the next two years,” Eriksen says. “It is an exciting opportunity for both students and faculty to interact in ways that would otherwise not be possible without the program.”
The real estate finance minor allows students in business-related majors to develop in-depth knowledge of theory and practices in real estate and strengthen their leadership skills to pursue careers in real estate development, investment banking, real estate valuations, asset management, and related areas.
The real estate minor helps students in non-business majors acquire basic knowledge in business and economics, and develop in-depth knowledge in real estate issues and practices. It allows students to broaden or enhance their knowledge of their major field and create a unique skill set for successful future careers in engineering, hospitality, and technology.
A primary focus of the new program will be student success both inside and outside of the classroom. This will be accomplished by providing students with industry mentors, internships, and job placements at some of the top real estate companies in the world.
Eriksen will teach a required, introductory course beginning in the fall 2022 term, Real Estate Fundamentals (MGMT 37000), that will cover real estate terminology, roles in the industry, and tools used to make informed decisions. The course will include a combination of lectures, projects, and guest speakers to help students decide whether a future career in real estate is right for them.
“I think students should study real estate because it's a great career path with real rewards,” Eriksen says. “Sometimes it’s hard to see the change that you make on a balance sheet, but real estate is a tangible way to make an impact on the world.”