Come next fall, the University of Colorado will offer a new interdisciplinary track for construction management for graduate students.

The track will be within the master's of administration program in the Leeds School of Business and is the result of a collaboration between the business school and the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

A $285,000 donation from alumni Dan Ivanoff and his wife, Laurie, financially supports the creation of the degree track, according to CU officials.

Thomas Thibodeau, a finance professor at CU, said the university floated the proposal among real estate developers who were enthusiastic and supportive of it. Students with expertise in construction management could find themselves well poised for job opportunities, he said.

"I think Colorado is in an unusual place regarding new construction," Thibodeau said. "When you look at all the new projects with Union Station and FasTracks, we are in a good position to see a lot of new development over the next decade."

Among the classes offered will be "Real Estate Economics" and "Legal Aspects of Construction." A class called "Construction Project Management" covers everything from contracts and cost estimating to health and safety in construction.

The money from the donation supports the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural and the CU Real Estate Center to help bring the programs together.

"Bringing students together across disciplines creates a richer learning environment while meeting market demands," said Dean David L. Ikenberry of the Leeds School in a news release.

Ikenberry said the cross-campus partnership will give MBA students a way to specialize their skill sets and engineering students a way to hone their business knowledge.

Ivanoff leads a large real estate investment, development and management company -- Schnitzer West LLC -- that is based in Seattle with properties throughout the western United States.

He said Leeds MBA graduates with concentrations in real estate and construction management will have a sound understanding of construction and design -- making them highly qualified job candidates for companies that concentrate on ground-up development.

While at CU, Ivanoff was educated in both business and engineering.

Part of the funding to engineering includes a fellowship that was awarded to Assistant Professor Amy Javernick-Will, whose career path has included both education and industry experience in real estate development and civil engineering.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or anasb@dailycamera.com.