University Housing Solutions (UHS) was formed in 2007 as an off-shoot of the Murphy Group, a business entity with over 30 years of student housing project development experience. Widely known as one of the premier developers in the student housing sector, with a primary focus on small, private colleges and universities, UHS is not your conventional development team. Under one roof, we have all the expertise needed to turn your vision into reality.
We apply our diverse backgrounds and wealth of knowledge and expertise to every phase of the development process, from conception to completion and beyond. From site selection, planning and financing, all the way through the construction phase, UHS acts as a trusted, full-service, and single-source partner to some of the nation’s top educational institutions and programs.
Who We Are
We are a multidisciplinary team of developers, attorneys, accountants, architects, real estate and construction specialists, and support staff who share a deep commitment to serving our clients with passion and integrity.
Frank Murphy, CEO
Frank founded UHS in 2007. He brings over 40 years of experience in the design and construction of healthcare and higher educational facilities. As chairman of the board and CEO, Mr. Murphy is responsible for high-level strategy development, coordination, and oversight of the team’s efforts.
His main objective is to ensure that each client’s needs are not only met but surpassed throughout the entire duration of a project. He holds multiple honorary degrees from a variety of prominent universities and clients due to his unwavering commitment to client satisfaction, relationship-building, and the philanthropic duties of the Frank E. Murphy Trust.
Jim Schmidt, President
Jim has been the president of UHS since co-founding the company in 2010. Having graduated from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 1986, he brings over three decades of project management and design experience to the UHS team, having personally designed and constructed dozens of student housing projects totaling 6,000+ beds.
Jim oversees all financial aspects of the development process to ensure all UHS partner institutions receive the best possible package and level of service to meet their individual needs. His creative approach to student housing development has resulted in a vast network of repeat clients and project partners across the nation.
Mike Bruni, CFO
Mike has been with UHS since its inception, serving the company as one of its principal owners. As CFO, Mike oversees all UHS financing, construction draws, and accounting cost reports. He generates and provides detailed analyses and reports to our clients through every step of a project, ensuring constant communication and transparency from start to finish.
Mike graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the Ohio State University in 1990. Before co-founding UHS, he served as a regional controller of a widely-respected management group that led the day-to-day operations of more than 25 corporations with hundreds of facilities across the globe.
Jim Harkin, VP of Development & Construction
Jim joined UHS in 2021 as Vice President of Development and Construction, where he acts as a liaison between UHS and its architects, consultants, and project managers, in addition to leading all business development efforts for the company. His impressive resume includes Director of Architecture for MKC Architects, where he oversaw all architecture operations for the firm’s three Ohio locations, and Principal/Owner of LuskHarkin Architects for 14 years.
Most recently, Jim served as the Senior Vice President of FRCH Architects, where he oversaw all business and architecture activities for their retail and mixed-use sector, further developing his expertise alongside some of the world’s largest retail developers. Throughout his 30+-year career, Jim has been responsible for designing over 200 shopping center and mall projects, 600 retail stores, and hundreds of commercial projects in mixed-use retail, office, higher education, and healthcare. Jim is a graduate of the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and is both a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional.
Meghan Schmidt, Director of Development
Meghan initially joined UHS in the summer of 2015 as a research and development intern while finishing her college career. Upon graduating from the University of Cincinnati’s competitive real estate program, she launched her professional career in the commercial real estate industry, securing a position in the research department at CBRE. Meghan eventually transitioned into retail brokerage at the firm in 2017, where she represented some of CBRE’s top national retailers, restaurateurs, developers, and retail property owners throughout the Midwest.
Meghan happily rejoined UHS in 2019 and assists in all stages of the project life cycle, including marketing, business development, upfront client contact, financial analysis, and acting as a liaison between the client and UHS throughout a project’s entirety.
Alan Price, Project Manager
Alan has been with UHS since 2012, starting as an intern before graduation, which led to a full-time position in 2013. A graduate of the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Real Estate, he brings a wealth of knowledge and unique skill set in commercial real estate, valuation analysis, appraisal, market research, law, and development, to the team.
During his tenure at UHS, Alan has supported the development of over $50M in housing projects, having been involved with every aspect from zoning, design documents, permits, financing, construction, and turnover.