Industry exec named director of real estate development program

Published May 4, 2022

The School of Architecture and Planning has named Matthew Roland, an urban planner and real estate development professional with more than 20 years of industry experience, as program director for its MS degree program in real estate development.

As assistant dean and clinical assistant professor in real estate development, Roland will provide administrative, teaching and industry engagement support for the MSRED, which 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 an MS in finance, a forthcoming minor in real estate development and an advanced graduate certificate in affordable housing that will launch this fall.

Roland comes to UB with diverse planning, economic development and real estate development experience through previous roles as a consultant to the U.S. Department of the Navy, as well as roles with the Clover Group, Hamister Group and Iskalo Development, working on real estate and planning projects across Western New York and in over 20 states. He holds a master of regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s in urban studies from Cornell University.

In addition to his faculty position, Roland will work in partnership with school leadership to build enrollment and expand the program’s practice-based research in critical fields such as affordable housing and inclusive community development. 

The MS in Real Estate Development is distinguished by its intensively interdisciplinary curriculum rooted in comprehensive study of the built environment. The three-semester, 48-credit-hour program includes courses on urban design, affordable housing, planning and development law, historic preservation, development financing, construction management, architectural design and economic development planning.

Meanwhile, the program’s “community-as-classroom” approach situates students in the surrounding city and region, where they conduct field work, explore the urban context, and engage with developers, city officials and community stakeholders. Designed for new and continuing real estate professionals, the program offers a signature “capstone studio” focused on an actual site in Buffalo with a client team and real-world project constraints.

Among Roland’s top priorities is building enrollment in the affordable housing certificate program, which is designed to prepare graduates to help cities balance rapid development with shortages in quality, affordable housing for all. The certificate program will offer students focused course offerings and independent research opportunities through the school’s Affordable Housing Initiative, which launched in 2018 to develop affordable housing prototypes, building methods and policies.