Symposium showcases pioneering course

By Caden Merrill, April 20, 2021

On April 20, the College of Business Administration hosted a symposium centered around managing properties and assets in commercial, contractual and legal contexts, which tied into a new course on the subject — making Cal Poly Pomona the first university to offer a higher-level course in federal contract management. FRL 3293 – Legal and Contract Management Aspects of Federal Government Contract Property, will join the course catalog for the upcoming summer term.

The course is intended to provide the skills needed to pass the National Property Management Association’s Certified Professional Property Specialist certification, according to John Wyatt, a professor in the Finance, Real Estate, and Law Department who spoke at the event.

“The benefit of this brand new class is it prepares students to take the certification exam,” Wyatt said. “It really is learn by doing in the sense that we are really pioneers in this area.”

Wyatt cited how contractual negotiations and management are vital to many of America’s federal duties, including obligatory military activity overseas and the government’s outreach to NASA, particularly the Jet Propulsion Laboratory More federal government contract property and asset management could potentially serve as a catalyst in NASA’s mission to land humans on Mars.

Despite the symposium’s direct connection to the Finance, Real Estate, and Law Department, all Cal Poly Pomona students were welcome. Wyatt highlighted the course as important to students considering law school, as many lawyers devote much of their time to managing contracts throughout their careers.

“We want nonbusiness people to come in. I would’ve given my right arm to have a course like what I teach,” Wyatt said.

Another speaker at the symposium was Rayyan Tabani, a third-year Finance, Real Estate, and Law student. Tabani presented one of his case studies. Like Wyatt, Tabani is hopeful that the symposium will successfully lead to more students enrolling in the class.

“This program at Cal Poly is unlike any other program. Dr. Wyatt has set up something quite special, and he goes to far lengths to make sure that his students are ready and prepared for the real world,” Tabani said. “I believe with this new course and this symposium will open up essentially a new chapter in the College of Business Administration’s property and contract management program. We’ll be able to outreach more people because we just started a new relationship with the National Property Management Association.”

Over 250 people were expected to attend, some of whom were property professionals hailing from “the highest echelon of property management and related fields,” Tabani added.

Speakers at the symposium ranged from academics, students and property professionals from different companies.

“For anybody who’s curious about Cal Poly’s College of Business Administration, I would like them to know that Cal Poly’s business administration major is growing, and it is getting better,” Tabani said. “I highly recommend students to take a look and see what’s out there and see what Cal Poly has to offer because Cal Poly has a lot to offer in terms of business.”

Wyatt echoed the same sentiment.

“You are able to be a player in things that only other people could dream of; you get to be a part of something that is so dynamic,” Wyatt said. “If you want to be a bigger fish in a smaller puddle, this is a great opportunity.”


Feature image courtesy of Scott Graham. 

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