Centers & Institutes

The Robert and Margaret Folsom Institute for Real Estate

Real Estate Department: (214) 768-3548
Institute Director: Joseph Cahoon (Release Below)
Department Chair: William B. Brueggeman

With a prime location in Dallas, arguably the country¹s most important and dynamic real estate city, the real estate program of SMU Cox School of Business is an important part of our academic offerings. In 1984 the Robert and Margaret Folsom Institute for Real Estate was endowed at SMU to provide support for teaching, research, and scholarships for real estate students.   Today, the expanded purpose of the real estate programming at SMU Cox is three fold:  academics, community outreach, and research.


Dallas (SMU) November 21, 2013 – The SMU Cox School of Business has taken the next step in enhancing the Robert and Margaret Folsom Institute for Real Estate by securing Joseph Cahoon to be its new director. Cahoon led the Real Estate Finance and Investment Center at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business as its managing director and as a lecturer in graduate and undergraduate Real Estate Finance from 2009 until now. At the same time, he kept his pulse on the beat of the thriving Austin real estate scene by serving as the owner’s representative in the development of a corporate headquarters in downtown Austin for publicly-traded semiconductor engineering firm Cirrus Logic.

Joseph Cahoon“Joseph Cahoon brings the unique blend of academic and practical working knowledge that is exactly what is needed at this critical juncture in the expansion of SMU Cox real estate efforts,” said Albert W. Niemi, Jr., dean of the SMU Cox School of Business.  “With half of U.S. job growth having taken place in Texas since 2000 and a projected population increase of 4 million people in Dallas-Fort Worth over the next 20 years, a veritable real estate boom lies ahead. The Folsom Institute, under Joseph’s capable direction, will empower current and future SMU Cox graduates to seize those boundless opportunities.”

Cahoon is a veteran of the Texas real estate market, having previously held development and investment roles with Gables Residential and Champion Partners in Dallas and Century Development in Houston. He earned his MBA and Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin.  He will take the helm of the Robert and Margaret Folsom Institute for Real Estate in January 2014.

“I’m thrilled and honored to be joining the Cox School to initiate a new chapter for the Folsom Institute and the study of real estate at SMU,” Cahoon said. “The combination of being in one of the best real estate markets in the country, having a phenomenal base of SMU alumni in the industry and being able to build upon the established excellence of real estate education at the school will offer us an incredible opportunity to build one of the nation’s top real estate programs.”

The Robert and Margaret Folsom Institute for Real Estate was established in the 1980s at SMU with a generous gift from Robert S. Folsom, a Cox alumnus and a former mayor of Dallas.  The decision to expand financing and activity at the Folsom Institute was announced in April, when the search for a director began.

Like other institutes at SMU, the purpose of the expanded real estate programming of the Folsom Institute is three fold:  academics, community outreach and research.  Additionally, Professor Bill Brueggeman, the Clara R. and Leo F. Corrigan, Sr. Endowed Chair in Real Estate, continues in his role as chairman of the real estate department.

Anna Martinez