Finance, Financial Planning, and Insurance

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    Alumnus Drives $25 Million Initiative

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Centers and Institutes

The COBAE maintains academic centers as resources to encourage teaching, curriculum development, and interaction between the College and the business community.
College of Business and Economics (COBAE) maintains centers and academic programs as a resource to encourage curriculum development, research, and interaction among academic disciplines.

Center for China Finance and Business Research

Yanbo Jin, Director

List Advisory Board or Community Board Members:  Not available


The key mission of the center is to pursue scholarly research and publications related to China's finance and business through collaboration with faculty and researchers from China. To carry out this mission, the Center has invited two visiting scholars from leading universities in China to come to the center to collaborate on research during the academic year of 2011-12. Together we will conduct research on China's financial market and write papers for publication.


1. To continue research collaborations with Chinese visiting scholars on issues related to China's finance and business.

2. To visit Universities in China and conduct exchanges on both research and teaching.


1. Facilitate the pursuit of scholarly projects and publications related to China's finance and business.

2. Provide professional and advisory services to faculty, students, and community through seminars, visiting China, internships, independent studies, and training programs.

3. Promote exchange of China's finance and business information through creating databases, working papers, published papers, websites, visiting research fellows, and updating regulatory and policy changes in China.

4. Conduct research that leads to a better understanding of the dynamic business relationship between the U.S. and China.


1. Collaborate on research with Chinese visiting scholars.

2. Conduct research seminars on research issues related to China's finance and business.

3. Visit Chinese Universities to exchange information on research and teaching related to both China and US finance and business.


Our connection with the Chinese research community and frequent exchanges with visiting scholars from China's leading Universities.

Center for Risk and Insurance

David T. Russell, Director

List Advisory Board or Community Board Members:  Not available


Support students and faculty through scholarships, professional exam fee reimbursement and faculty development/research support.


We will double revenues and triple the number of students touched by our programs.


Raise funds and increase student participation in our programs.


Increase meetings with insurance community.


We are increasing outreach in the insurance community--we have a number of opportunities to increase scholarship and discretionary funding.

Center for Real Estate

Vacant, Director

List Advisory Board or Community Board Members:

  • Jay Berger PhD, Professor Emeritus, CSUN
  • Steve Bram, Managing Director, George Smith Partners
  • Gene Detchemendy, President, Detchemendy Consulting
  • John Ellis, Managing Director, Integra Realty Resources
  • Fereydoon Ghaffari, President, Ghaffari and Associates
  • David Gribin, President, Gribin Properties
  • Robert Hertzberg Esq., Partner, Mayer Brown
  • Frank Mittelbach PhD, Professor Emeritus, UCLA


The mission of the Center is to promote the professional growth and development of faculty, students, and real estate practitioners by providing a forum for the discussion of current real estate issues, providing professional and advisory services, raising financial support for students and offering educational opportunities.


The Center will build upon its past successes. This will entail the continuation of providing scholarships for students and educational opportunities for the real estate professional community. We will also expand our activities to get alumni more involved with our students, the College and the University.


The objectives of the Center will be to:

1. Provide scholarships to students completing the real estate major.

2. Provide funds to enable students to network with real estate professionals.

3. Connect current students with mentors from the real estate community.

4. Create a Real Estate Alumni Association which will provide alumni with networking opportunities and increase their involvement with the University.

5. Provide educational opportunities to the real estate community.

6. Provide resources for faculty research.

7. Provide resources for real estate classes.


1. Scholarships: The Real Estate Land Use Institute has agreed to provide funds for scholarships. We are currently in discussions with the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Appraisal Institue. We will also be pursuing scholarships from alumni and other organizations.

2. Student Networking: Last year we provided funds for students to attend the Annual Conference of the International Council of Shopping Centers. The ICSC is providing opportunities for students to enroll as Student Members for a nominal charge. We are also in discussions with local real estate organizations to invite students to their monthly meetings.

3. Mentors: The International Council of Shopping Centers has agreed to provide students with mentors. We will contact other organizations through alumni.

4: Alumni Involvement: Create a Real Estate Alumni Association which will provide alumni with networking opportunities and increase their involvement with the University.

5. Educational Opportunities: This will be done through programming which will consist of the Economic Summit and/or panels on various real estate topics of interest to real estate professionals and investors. The Lambda Alpha International Real Estate Honor Society has agreed to provide speakers. We have, also, begun preliminary plans to co-sponsor events with the International Conference of Shopping Centers.

6. Research Resources: CoStar has agreed to donate their extensive database to the Center. The database contains extensive sales, rental and economic data. The Center has also purchased a subscription to the Reis Reports. The subscription was purchased at a large discount.

7. Class Resources: The Center has purchased a subscription to Marshall Valuation Service. The package will enable students to estimate construction costs for their class projects. We are also in discussions with CoStar to donate a temporary account for each student. Economic data will be generated and provided to students via the Reis Reports.


Since 1998 we have created a network of involved real estate professionals. There has also been a growing network of real estate alumni. This has provided us with access to real estate corporations and professionals.

Center for Financial Planning and Investment

G. Michael Phillips, Director

List Advisory Board or Community Board Members:

  • Dick Bell
  • Kirk Lombard
  • Steve Meier
  • Andrew Crowell

For additional information, please visit:  Center for Financial Planning and Investment alternate site.


The CFPI members will continue public speaking, performing applicable academic research, curriculum development, building strategic alliances, and continue to develop our service to the broader community.


To promote and develop financial planning and investment education and better prepare our students for careers in the financial planning and investing industry, for life-long learning, and for service to their communities.


Promote curriculum development and the provision of innovative educational programs; to promote the professional growth and development of faculty, students, and professionals in the fields of financial planning and investment; to increase communication among faculty, students, and professionals in the financial planning and investment fields; to support the pursuit of scholarly projects and publications related to financial planning, investments, and personal financial applications of finance, real estate, and insurance.


1. Work with Department of Finance to achieve "Registered Program Status" by the CFP Board of Registry;

2. continue growing cooperation with local professional organizations through public speaking and board participation;

3. attend national conferences related to personal financial planning

4. develop relationships with key companies in the personal financial planning and investment industry;

5. continue developing relationships with leading doctoral programs in personal financial planning;

6. continue academic research aimed at high profile financial planning and investment journals.


Solid relationships with industry and community leaders, impactful research, growing reputation among graduate programs and other financial planning leaders.