The Institute was chartered by President Hargis and the Board of Regents in February 2015 to focus on teaching and research on principled entrepreneurship, regulation, markets, public policy and the role of business in a free society. The Institute is not a traditional academic department, but rather a university-wide, multi-disciplinary institute housed in the Provost’s Office.
Instruction. The Institute coordinates and sponsors OSU courses related to free enterprise. Courses are offered at all levels: undergraduate general education, undergraduate upper division, masters, and doctoral. Courses are offered in a variety of formats including traditional face-to-face, online, and hybrid/blended.
OSU Community. The Institute sponsors the Free Enterprise Society, a student-run academic society that provides the OSU community with speakers, faculty-student dinner/discussion groups, networking events, and other educational activities. The Society is non-partisan, and does not engage in any form of political advocacy.
The Institute provides scholarships for students at all levels who are interested in learning about free enterprise. Students take free enterprise-related courses, participate in the Free Enterprise Society, attend off-campus events, and participate in travel study programs.
Outreach. The Institute uses the latest in digital technology and pedagogy to deliver MOOCs (massive, open, online classes) in Free Enterprise. These non-credit bearing classes are free, and available over the internet to anyone, anywhere.
Research. The Institute supports the research efforts of OSU faculty through research colloquia, Visiting Fellowships, Faculty Fellowships, Doctoral Fellowships, Doctoral Scholarships, and Professorships. Faculty Fellowships and Professorships as well as Doctoral Fellowships and Scholarships are open to faculty and doctoral students from any department at OSU.
Areas of research activity include legitimate and illegitimate forms of regulation, the psychological and moral fallacy of income equality and “social justice”, cronyism in the US and abroad, political corruption as a barrier to free enterprise, ethics of the early-stage entrepreneur, and free enterprise and Austrian Thought. Research also includes the analysis and design of public policies to foster human flourishing, economic growth, free market healthcare, free market energy, free market agriculture, and educational entrepreneurship.