Inside INdiana Business

BSU gifts lead to new research institutes

(photo courtesy of Ball State University)

MUNCIE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Ball State University has received $5 million in grant funding from the Menard family and $1.5 million from the Charles Koch Foundation. The university says it will use the funds to reimagine an existing entrepreneurship center on the Muncie campus and create a second institute to focus on how organizations promote prosperity.

The university’s Miller College of Business has introduced the Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute to help students become innovators and leaders. Meanwhile, BSU says the new Institute for the Study of Political Economy will study the role of economic and political institutions in promoting prosperity.

“We are pleased to partner with the Menard family, and the Charles Koch Foundation,” said Provost Susana Rivera-Mills. “This funding benefits our students, creating learning opportunities to provide them with the skills and competencies desired by employers.”

During its meeting, the board of trustees approved the naming rights for new meeting and training rooms and a speaker series as a result of grant funding from the Menard family.

“Similar to all grants we receive, the university will maintain independent control of the programming and operations of the institutes,” said Provost Rivera-Mills. “Academic integrity is a key pillar in our efforts to provide an excellent educational experience for our students, and it promotes diverse thinking and teaching by faculty on our campus.”

The university says the ELI will be under the leadership of Mike Goldsby, Ball State’s chief entrepreneurship officer, and Institute Executive Director Rob Mathews. The ISPE will be led by Steve Horwitz, distinguished professor of Free Enterprise, and Todd Nesbit, assistant professor of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Economics.

Menard founded his namesake home improvement stores while he still was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Menards has 325 stores and 41 manufacturing facilities located in 14 Midwestern states. The Charles Koch Foundation has supported programs at more than 300 U.S. colleges and universities.