The School of Architecture and Urban Planning has appointed Matthew Roland, an urban planner and real estate development professional with over 20 years of industry experience, as Program Director for its Masters in Real Estate Development program.
As Assistant Dean and Clinical Assistant Professor of Real Estate Development, Roland will provide administrative, academic, and industry engagement support for MSRED, which was launched in 2015 as SUNY’s only master’s degree in real estate development.
The program already has more than 60 alumni and has added dual degrees with an MBA and a master’s in finance, an upcoming minor in real estate development, and a graduate certificate in affordable housing that will launch this fall.
Roland comes to UB with a diverse background in planning, economic development, and real estate development through previous roles as a consultant to the U.S. Department of the Navy, as well as roles with Clover Group, Hamister Group, and Iskalo. Development, working on real estate and planning projects in Western New York and in over 20 states. He holds a master’s degree in regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Cornell University.
In addition to his faculty position, Roland will work in partnership with the school leadership to increase enrollment and expand the program’s practice-based research in critical areas such as affordable housing and inclusive community development.
The MA in Real Estate Development is distinguished by its intensely interdisciplinary curriculum rooted in an in-depth study of the built environment. The three-semester, 48-credit-hour program includes courses in urban design, affordable housing, planning and development law, historic preservation, development finance, construction management, design architecture and economic development planning.
Meanwhile, the program’s “community as classroom” approach places students in the surrounding city and region, where they conduct fieldwork, explore the urban context, and engage with developers, city officials, and community stakeholders. Designed for new and permanent real estate professionals, the program offers a signature “capsule studio” focused on a real-life location in Buffalo with a client team and real-world project constraints.
One of Roland’s top priorities is to bolster enrollment in the Affordable Housing Certificate Program, designed to prepare graduates to help cities balance rapid development with shortages of quality, affordable housing for all. The certificate program will provide students with targeted course offerings and independent research opportunities through the school’s Affordable Housing Initiative, which was launched in 2018 to develop affordable housing prototypes, construction and policies.