Newswise — The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University today announced an Institute for the Study of Economic Growth with the support of a $3.64 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. The institute will play a transformative role in exploring innovative and entrepreneurial activities in enhancing societal prosperity.

The institute will help cultivate the exchange of ideas, as well as scientific research, about economic solutions to business and social issues, said Tony Vizzini, provost and senior vice president. 

"We want to expose our students to a wide range of thought and discussion about the systems that are most beneficial to society," Vizzini said. "We believe the Institute for the Study of Economic Growth will ignite research and academic conversation that leads to economic growth and well-being." Barton School Dean Anand Desai said: "Our students will be the greatest beneficiaries of this grant. The institute will help us attract and retain outstanding faculty and increase the value of business and economics education at Wichita State.

"This institute's purpose," Desai said, "aligns with the Barton School's mission to advance the knowledge and practice of business, and to support economic growth through research, outreach and knowledge transfer. Our goal is to provide to the region a talent pool that is well versed in the economics of value creation, growth and economic well-being. We are grateful to the Charles Koch Foundation for their support of our mission."

The institute will initially be housed in Clinton Hall, home of the Barton School of Business until a new home for the Barton School on the Innovation Campus is completed, at which time the institute will have dedicated space to house its staff and activities.

The gift from the Charles Koch Foundation is part of the WSU Foundation's $250 Million "Shock the World Campaign" and is an important component of its focus on the people of Wichita State University — students and faculty.

"We're so pleased for this support, which will help grow our efforts to enhance societal prosperity through economic growth, while also expanding teaching and research – a direct benefit to our students," says WSU President John Bardo.

The school will formally establish the institute following the meeting of the Council of Chief Academic Officers of the Kansas Board of Regents Sept. 20.

"The scholars at Wichita State have set forward a bold vision to tackle critical questions about growing inequality, and we're thankful for the opportunity to support them," said Charles Koch Foundation Director of University Relations John Hardin.

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About Wichita State University The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. Wichita State is a doctoral research university enrolling nearly 15,000 students and offering 59 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in seven undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers 45 master's and 12 doctoral degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas. Wichita State's Innovation Campus is an interconnected community of partnership buildings, laboratories and mixed-use areas where students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and businesses have access to the university's vast resources and technology. For more information, follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at

About the Charles Koch Foundation Since its founding in 1980, the Charles Koch Foundation has supported students and scholars exploring how free societies improve well-being. The foundation offers philanthropic support to more than 300 public and private universities.

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Contact: Anand Desai, dean of the Barton School of Business, 316-978-3200 or [email protected]; Lynn Deckinger, director of marketing and communications, WSU Foundation, 316-978-5624 or [email protected]; or Joe Kleinsasser, director of news and media relations, 316-978-3013, cell 316-204-8266 or [email protected].