A ‘teacher’s teacher’
After 40 years of teaching real estate and training faculty, Johnnie Rosenauer still ‘gets his boots muddy’
For more than four decades, Dr. Johnnie Rosenauer taught thousands of students how to buy and sell real estate. At the same time, he wrote numerous articles and books.
Perhaps his biggest contribution, however, has been as a driving force in teaching educators how to do their jobs better. Rosenauer (B.B.A. ’72) is considered by professors across many disciplines to be a ‘teacher’s teacher.’
“Johnnie is a very wise teacher and has a grasp on the real fundamental ideas on teaching,” says Jerry Townsend, who worked with Rosenauer at San Antonio College (SAC). “When I took his class (for faculty), I was learning things from him that I had not yet discovered even after 40 years of teaching.”
Rosenauer recently retired after 40 years on the faculty at SAC. His name may also be familiar to many Bobcats as Texas State University ranks as one of the top three universities where SAC students transfer.
After he graduated with his business degree, Rosenauer sold houses in San Antonio. The rapid pace during a housing boom eventually led him out of the day-to-day agent duties and into the role of senior trainer for his firm. That desire for education stuck with him and he earned a master’s degree in higher education and management in 1974 from UTSA. Then in 1984, he completed a doctorate in adult education at Texas A&M University, commuting more than 157 miles each class day.
“As soon as you’ve got those pieces of paper (degrees), the doors start to open for you,” Rosenauer says. His real estate teaching methods were heavy on role playing with students in rotation as buyer, seller, banker, and other professionals involved in deals. He also put a high value on storytelling and homespun wisdom, a result of growing up in Pearsall. He’s been known to offer folksy advice, such as “Don’t put a $400 saddle on a $40 horse.”
His desire to elevate the teaching abilities of faculty members, some of whom were training students to enter industries they came from, led to the 2005 creation of the Raul S. Murguía Learning Institute. Rosenauer served as its director at SAC for eight years. The program provided professional development to 950 full- and part-time faculty members and about 500 adjunct instructors.
“The most fun thing besides teaching real estate was being a mentor,” Rosenauer says. The program received national acclaim and Rosenauer took some aspects of the faculty training on the road at the request of several universities.
“He is professional in every respect,” Townsend says of Rosenauer. “He had a dedication to making education possible at its highest level.” Townsend says Rosenauer also served as a tireless champion of adjunct faculty. The two worked together to form the SAC Adjunct Faculty Council, which made it easier for new members to come onboard and developed a recognition program for the adjuncts.
Rosenauer continued teaching as a volunteer in professional organizations, including the Texas Real Estate Teachers Association (TRETA), where he received the Jack Wiedener Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 and a lifetime service award in 2015. He is a frequent speaker at TRETA conferences where “everyone is always just thrilled to hear him,” says Glenwood Stevenson, past president of TRETA, and educator through the San Antonio Board of Realtors. “If I could do a mind meld, I would do it to know everything he does. He’s very humble considering everything he has achieved, and he’s so laid back in how he expresses himself. I call him the ‘gentleman cowboy.’”
These days, Rosenauer serves on the scholarship committee of the New Braunfels Community Foundation, on the higher education committee of the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, and as a volunteer for Eastern European missions, such as Bibles for the Balkans. In 2018, SAC named him professor emeritus. His son, Corban Rosenauer, is currently a GIS major at Texas State with a minor in international studies.
During the last 40 years, Rosenauer’s writings have been diverse, including five books — his first in 1982 was a bestseller in the real estate category — while Texas Real Estate Contracts is in its fourth edition. He also has written numerous articles on real estate, adult learning, and wildlife management, as well as poetry and several greeting cards. He is working on a book of essays on hunting, horses, and South Texas characters titled Tales from La Brasada.
In addition to wildlife management on his two ranches, Rosenauer is still practicing in farm and ranch real estate, taking his own advice. “I still like to get my boots muddy,” Rosenauer says. “I always encouraged my teachers to keep practicing.”