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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue


A conversation with Business Dean Anand Desai

Anand Desai

We asked Anand Desai, dean of the W. Frank Barton School of Business, for his thoughts on how the Institute for the Study of Economic Growth will benefit WSU students, faculty and other stakeholders. Here’s what he says:


What is the Institute’s purpose? What activities will it engage in?

The Institute will play a transformative role in advancing the teaching, research and application of innovative entrepreneurial activities in a free enterprise economy. These activities will be focused on examining the role of businesses and markets in enhancing societal prosperity through economic growth.


How will the Institute improve the educational experience of WSU students?

The Institute will ignite the exchange of ideas and scientific research about economic solutions to business issues that lead to economic growth. Through coursework focused on applied learning and through research, our students will gain a balanced perspective on the drivers that affect growth. The Institute’s mission provides a unique opportunity for our graduate and undergraduate students to engage in dialogue and critical thinking, thereby enhancing their educational experience.


How will faculty engage with the Institute?

Initial funding for the Institute, generously provided by the Charles Koch Foundation, will allow us to hire new faculty who are focused on research and teaching consistent with the mission of the Institute. Many of our current faculty will collaborate with the new hires to either jumpstart or advance their teaching and research endeavors. The Institute’s budget allows us to support faculty research activities through grants for advancing and disseminating their research.


What connections or participation will the business community have with the Institute?

As a business school, it is incumbent upon us to engage businesses in the educational process. By doing so, we can provide our students with a practical perspective of the concepts they learn in class. But this engagement goes beyond students. Engagement with faculty allows us to better focus our research and teaching, so that we address issues that are relevant to businesses.


When will the Institute begin its work? How many people will be employed by the Institute, and in what capacity?

The Institute will be led by an executive director who will execute the mission, oversee the day-to-day operations, conduct outreach activities and seek external research funding. In addition, the institute will house two new research faculty members, one instructor and two support staff. The Institute will also fund two graduate fellows and two graduate assistants. Our plan is to fully staff the Institute in four years, starting with the hiring of the executive director this year.


When the new home for the Barton School of Business is built, will the Institute be located there? Why is that important or desirable?

The Institute will have dedicated space for its faculty and staff and will share meeting space in the new business building. The proximity of the Institute to our faculty and students is critical for creating a vibrant intellectual environment to achieve our mission.