Naveen Jindal School of Management Dean Hasan Pirkul has named Dr. Randall S. Guttery director of the new Herbert D. Weitzman Institute for Real Estate, one of the school’s 16 centers and institutes of excellence. The dean also selected George DeCourcy to be the institute’s associate director.
“Randy and his team have done great work over the past several years producing outstanding Jindal School graduates for the real estate industry,” Pirkul said. “As I have said previously, real estate and Jindal School are going to be synonymous going forward, and Randy is going to lead the way.”
The new title authorizes Guttery, a clinical professor in the Finance and Managerial Economics Area, to expand on the work he has done for eight years as director of the Jindal School’s real estate curriculums. He said the funds from the $3 million gift bestowed on the Jindal School last November by Herb Weitzman, well-known founder and executive chairman of Weitzman, a full-service statewide corporate real estate company, and his wife, entrepreneur and real estate professional Donna Weitzman, will open new doors for real estate students.
“The Weitzman Institute gives us a lot of capital to do a lot of things for our students that we haven’t been able to do before,” Guttery said. “For example, we’ve only been able to participate in local case competitions because we didn’t have the funds to travel across the country. Now we’ll be able to do that. Of course, the scholarship money speaks for itself.”
Guttery and DeCourcy also will be able to travel to conferences and take students with them. These extracurricular activities are crucial in helping students develop and maintain their professional networks in an industry where such relationships are fundamental components of success, Guttery said.
Plans also are in place to augment the real estate advisory panel, which is composed only of UT Dallas alumni who are leaders in the North Texas real estate industry.
“I’ve got some former students in mind that I will reach out to see if they want to serve,” Guttery said. “We want to expand it from seven to about a dozen.”
As director of the institute, Guttery will reduce his teaching load so that he can take on more administrative duties.
“I’m just going to be doing more of what I’ve already been doing, which is spending a lot more time out there in industry,” he said.
Herb Weitzman, who has been a friend of Guttery’s for years, said Guttery was the only person he had in mind to run the institute.
“Donna and I are thrilled that Randy has accepted the director position,” Weitzman said. “He understands and will promote the importance of entrepreneurship as a key element of commercial real estate success.”
Other institute initiatives will include hosting events and corporate engagement activities. Guttery and DeCourcy are currently formulating plans for the Weitzman Institute to host an annual commercial real estate conference that will include experts speaking on contemporary topics relevant to the industry. Corporate engagement will include building and maintaining relationships with trade organizations and real estate firms.
Guttery said he is “very excited” and “a little nervous” as he embarks on this new life chapter leading the Weitzman Institute. He looks forward to working with DeCourcy and the other real estate faculty members to make it a success.
“This notches us up several tranches and puts us on the national stage as a real estate program,” he said. “I’m just completely convinced this is going to be a huge success for the Weitzmans, UT Dallas, the Jindal School, its students and the North Texas economy.”
—Jimmie R. Markham