It may not be as dramatic as the Bruins' upset win over the Trojans football team last year, but UCLA has successfully enticed USC's top real estate scholar to quarterback its program.
Stuart A. Gabriel, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate and the Lusk Chair in Real Estate, will join UCLA on June 1 and will hold three titles: professor of finance, Arden Realty Chair and director of the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate.
Gabriel, 53, a former staff economist for the Federal Reserve, has been teaching at USC for the last 17 years.
Gabriel has been ranked among the top business school professors and has won accolades for his research in such fields as real estate capital markets, mortgage default risk and housing economics.
He also co-directs the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate Finance and Development, which helps foster urban projects by training local would-be developers.
"Real estate, along with the entertainment industry, is the lifeblood of Los Angeles," said Michael Schill, dean of the UCLA School of Law. "Stuart Gabriel is one of the leading real estate experts of his generation."
UCLA's Ziman Center is a joint program of the School of Law and the Anderson School of Management. It's named for Richard S. Ziman, the former chairman and chief executive of Los Angeles-based Arden Realty Inc., whose endowment led to its creation.
Stan Ross, chairman of the USC Lusk Center, will serve as interim director until a search for Gabriel's replacement is completed.
"I don't like to see this but these events occur," said Ross, who called Gabriel "a protege and a good friend."
"If your good people move on, it's a confirmation that you've built a great institution, and other institutions will seek your people out," Ross said.
Gabriel said he was leaving the Lusk Center, which is under the aegis of the Marshall School of Business and the School of Policy, Planning and Development, at a time when "everything is really in excellent condition."
"The move is certainly not about the Trojans versus the Bruins," he said.
"But it's a chance to build a world-class program at one of the world's premier universities."
Gabriel earned his doctorate in economics from UC Berkeley.