C. Theodore “Ted” Koebel, professor of urban affairs and planning in School of Public and International Affairs and the Myers-Lawson School of Construction, both in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of “professor emeritus” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1990, Koebel served as founding director of Virginia Tech’s Virginia Center for Housing Research from 1990 to 2005, chair of the Urban Affairs and Planning Program from 2005 to 2010, and acting director of the Virginia Tech Metropolitan Institute, located in the National Capital Region, in 2001.

Because of Koebel’s leadership, the Virginia Center for Housing Research is recognized as a consistent, independent, and objective source of data on housing conditions and needs in Virginia. During his tenure, Koebel developed a research portfolio and interdisciplinary research team that helped to establish Virginia Tech as one of the nation’s leaders in housing policy research. His work on building technology and innovation in home building was seminal in shaping federal housing policy.

Known as the “father of affordable housing research” across the Commonwealth of Virginia, Koebel pioneered methods of analyzing housing markets and housing affordability gaps that are now considered standard tools of the trade, and made important research contributions to the field in the area of nonprofit housing, innovation in home building, manufactured housing, the supply-side of housing markets, and the demographics of housing demand.

He helped to bring the journal, Housing Policy Debate, to Virginia Tech, and he has served on the editorial boards of several leading academic journals in the field of urban affairs and planning.

Koebel served Community Housing Partners for 14 years, as a collaborator, mentor, board member, and vice chair, and as board chair for eight years from 2000 to2008. His real estate market knowledge allowed Community Housing Partners to diversify and expand, to become recognized as one of the top 50 affordable housing providers in the country, and to receive more than 30 national and state awards of excellence.

A dedicated teacher and mentor, Koebel, through his work at the Virginia Center for Housing Research, sponsored more than 85 undergraduate and graduate students who have become highly trained individuals working to improve affordable housing. He currently serves on the board for the Habitat for Humanity New River Valley.

Koebel holds a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University, a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Share this story