Ottawa University Announces Establishment of Gwartney Institute

Ottawa, Kan. – Ottawa University and its Angell Snyder School of Business announced today the establishment of the Gwartney Institute for Freedom, Justice and Human Flourishing, thanks to the generous support of a $500,000 grant from the Charles Koch Foundation.

The Gwartney Institute, which was founded by Ottawa University Associate Professor Dr. Russ McCullough, the Wayne Angell Chair of Economics at the school, will serve as an academic education and research arm for the Angell Snyder School of Business. Its principle purpose will be to prepare students, alumni and community members to explore and better understand the interrelatedenss of Economic Freedom and Social Justice. Drawing from scholarly resources in theology, philosophy and economics, researchers from the Institute will use economic data to support or refute claims of human flourishing through economic freedom and social justice.

“With so much talk in media sources today, the Institute looks to investigate evidence of what works and what does not work in our primary institutions today. For example, the data on outcomes such as life expectancy, access to drinking water and income from various institutions of religion, politics, legal systems, and property rights is something every citizen who cares about humanity should know,” said McCullough.

“This grant from the Charles Koch Foundation is a major step forward in strengthening the intellectual life of our institution, providing exactly the type of forum inferred in our mission statement related to “building on our foundation as a Christ inspired community of grace and open inquiry,” said Kevin C. Eichner, president of Ottawa University. “The creation of the Gwartney Institute enhances the prestigious offerings of the Angell Snyder School of Business and will further prepare our students to become outstanding economists and graduates in other programs of study to better appreciate the pervasive impact that economic freedom has on the quality of life of human beings around the world .”

The Gwartney Institute is named after Dr. Jim Gwartney, a 1962 graduate of OU. Gwartney has spent his career in economic education in a variety of ways, including the development of the Economic Freedom Index which has been published annually since the 1980’s, cataloging and ranking in objective terms the level of economic freedom that exists in many of the world’s nation states. He currently is the Gus A. Stavros Eminent Scholar Chair at Florida State University where he directs the Stavros Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Economic Education.

The Gwartney Institute will provide resources and information to the general public, universities and regional school systems on issues of economic freedom and social justice and their role in our world. The Institute will be housed on the Ottawa University residential campus in Ottawa, Kan. The Institute will open in August of 2018.
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About Ottawa University
Founded in 1865, Ottawa University prepares professional and liberal arts graduates for lifetimes of personal significance, vocational fulfillment and service to God and humanity within a Christ-inspired community of grace and open inquiry. Ottawa University is a comprehensive, not-for-profit educational institution serving 3,000 students through its residential campuses in Ottawa, Kan., and Surprise, Ariz., and adult campuses in Overland Park, Kan.; Phoenix, Queen Creek and Surprise, Ariz.; Brookfield, Wis.; Jeffersonville, Ind.; as well as online. For more information, visit
About the Charles Koch Foundation
More than 50 years ago, Charles G. Koch began supporting education in the belief that everyone has the ability to learn, contribute, and succeed if they have the freedom and opportunity to do so. The Charles Koch Foundation, founded in 1980, continues this work by funding research and education that helps people expand their horizons, develop their skills, and help others. Through grants to more than 300 colleges and universities nationwide and non-profit organizations, the Foundation connects scholars, students, and partners with the resources to explore diverse ideas and solutions that meet the challenges of our day. For more information visit