ASU has announced the appointment of Professor William Boyes as the founding director of the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty at the university’s business school. Through the research center, Boyes will be able to build on his scholarly investigation of how economics, policy and general well-being are influenced by individuals’ ability to make choices.

“This new center will bring together scholars and public intellectuals to examine the broad societal effects of free markets, private property rights and entrepreneurship,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “The issues that it will convene researchers to consider are directly linked to ASU’s commitment to engage on questions of critical importance to our region, to the nation and to the wider world.”

The center is made possible by $5 million in gifts. Part of the money comes through a grant from the philanthropic W. P. Carey Foundation, which supports schools and universities in the areas of business and economics. The organization’s founder, the late investor Wm. Polk Carey and founder of W. P. Carey & Co., also provided a $50 million gift to ASU in 2003 that resulted in the renaming of the business school as the W. P. Carey School of Business.

The W. P. Carey Foundation helped to secure up to $3.5 million for the center from the Charles Koch Foundation, which also focuses its philanthropy on university research and education.

ASU is frequently recognized for innovation in research and education, and the university was recently ranked the nation’s No. 2 up-and-coming school, according to U.S. News & World Report. The new Center for the Study of Economic Liberty will build on the university’s legacy of innovation. It will be involved in research, publishing, conferences, and engaging students and scholars from around the world.

Boyes is excited to take his current research further. His research has helped to inform policymakers at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Federal Trade Commission and various companies that all play a significant role in America’s economy. His new research will explore the economic implications of government regulation, small business and public education.

“We will study the intersection of individuals, the private sector and government,” explained Boyes. “We want to help educate students and inform the general public. We hope to use our research as a catalyst for broader conversations that can lead to societal solutions.”

The center’s executive director will be Scott Beaulier, an economist who has held previous appointments in the area of economics at three universities. He has done extensive research on the implications that economic policy has at a state, federal and international level, affecting the ability of people to live satisfied, fulfilling lives.

W. P. Carey Foundation Chairman Francis J. Carey, III noted, “We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the W. P. Carey School of Business, Dean Amy Hillman and Professor Boyes in supporting the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty.”

Charles Koch Foundation President Brian Hooks said, “We’re excited to support ASU and the important work its faculty members are doing.”