With South Florida being the “epicenter” of the national housing crisis, Florida International University recently hired a real estate expert to lead its business school.
Guillaume Hardin, 61, became dean of the FIU College of Business in early June, after a year as acting dean. His predecessor, Joanne Li, left to become chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
“I feel pretty good. I already have a good idea of what the job is, but being named permanent dean makes it a little more real,” said Hardin, who was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, and spent around half of his life in Atlanta. before moving to Florida.
Hardin said FIU Business will try to meet the growing demand for programs in areas such as data analytics and cybersecurity – and logistics and supply chain management, which everyone now understands due to of the pandemic, he said.
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Still, the main challenge for FIU Business, Hardin said, remains figuring out how to engage students in a post-pandemic world.
“Technology has changed the way people, especially young people, perceive the world. People have become accustomed to all sorts of opportunities to meet – or not meet – people. But we want to bring people back to engaging one-on-one in person, because I think it’s in person that we develop relationships the best,” he said.
Hardin has worked at the CRF for about 16 years. He first joined in 2006 as a professor of finance and real estate, as well as director of its real estate programs.
Since then, he has held several positions, including Director of FIU’s Jerome Bain Real Estate Institute, which offers industry courses and conferences, and Founding Director of the Hollo School of Real Estate. In 2018, he became Associate Dean of the Chapman Graduate School of Business.
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Throughout his career, he has authored or co-authored at least 70 articles on topics such as foreclosures and corporate governance.
In 2018, he received the American Real Estate Society’s Ricardo Medal – its highest scholarship honor – for his published research.
CRF President Kenneth Jessell touted Hardin’s experience.
“Dean Hardin’s academic work and nationally recognized expertise in real estate make him an especially important and relevant business leader in South Florida today,” Jessell said.
Before moving to CRF, Hardin taught at Mississippi State University for eight years, Morehouse College for three years, and Georgia State University for two years. Before diving into academia, Hardin spent about seven years at NationsBank in Charlotte, now Bank of America.
He graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He has a a master’s degree in international business from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in real estate from Georgia State University. He holds a doctorate in business administration from Georgia State University.
Three things you might not know about Hardin
An Olympic medal
He lived in Rio de Janeiro for a year in the 1980s because his master’s program in international business at the University of South Carolina required it. He speaks Portuguese.
This language proficiency allowed him to volunteer as an envoy for Portugal‘s Olympic team during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
“Everyone who participates in the Olympics receives a participation medal, all athletes. That year, apparently, they had leftovers, I guess, so as an envoy, I got one,” Hardin said. “It was a good time for me.”
He loves Miami
“I love being in a place where diversity is champion. It really is a global city,” Hardin said. “I think it’s fun; it’s appealing. And it’s the future. he future is people everywhere coming together to advance humanity.
“I’ve been to many places and talked to many deans in different places, and in Florida and Miami, we really benefit from our willingness to be inclusive and our cultural awareness.”
A husband, dad
He met his wife when they both worked in the same international division of a bank; they have been married for 35 years. They have a daughter; she attends law school at Emory University in Atlanta.
This story was originally published July 15, 2022 7:05 p.m.