CCIM Feature

CCIM Spotlight: Honor Role

A CCIM earns distinction as a leading commercial real estate educator.

Career education is a lifelong process for many commercial real estate professionals. However, for Mark L. Levine, CCIM, CIPS, MAI, director and professor at the University of Denver's Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management in Denver, real estate education is a career unto itself.

Levine, who has been involved in commercial real estate for more than four decades, was honored in June as the Burns School's first-ever Mark Lee Levine Chair in Real Estate and Construction Management. Joy Burns, president of D.C. Burns Realty and Trust Co. and the Burnsley Hotel in Denver, bestowed the $3.5 million gift. The purpose of the chair is to recognize meritorious and superior achievement by outstanding real estate faculty members. "It has been and remains my honor to teach at DU for 31 years," Levine says. "Stacked on that honor is the prestige associated with being the holder of a chair when teaching."

As a leader in commercial real estate education, Levine has observed the industry's evolution over the years. "One of the most obvious changes is the speed that is involved in real estate transactions and the knowledge and information that consumers now have," he says. The Internet is to thank in part, and in his opinion, global real estate is the next frontier to be explored.

The rapidly expanding market and advances in the speed of information also have contributed to recent growth in graduate real estate education programs. "More universities are realizing that real estate will continue to grow as a part of our lives, as an investment vehicle, and as part of our wealth," Levine says. However, he is quick to point out that only a handful of programs provide real estate education in a business college setting - a factor that routinely draws CCIMs to the University of Denver's Master of Science in Real Estate & Construction Management as well as the online executive master's degree program. The Burns School is part of the university's Daniels College of Business.

In addition, through professional educational programs such as those offered by CCIM Institute, "students gain the advantage of a wonderful foundation," Levine says, particularly those who have some experience in the industry. Designation programs "build on that experience and allow a fast, less-expensive, and sophisticated form of training." In fact, the Burns School's program complements the CCIM educational track and includes curriculum to meet certain designation requirements.

The CCIM community also is honored by Levine's special recognition. "It is rare that a chair will be named and occupied by the same individual," says Bob Behrens, CCIM, president of Re/Max Commercial in Denver, a past CCIM president, and a current student in the Burns School's executive master's program. "Mark is very deserving of this honor," he adds.

Jennifer Norbut

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