Koch Professorship in Entrepreneurship to launch new institute
To continue the Kansas tradition of entrepreneurship, the
Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation has established a new
business professorship at KU.
The Koch Professorship in Entrepreneurship will serve as
a cornerstone for the new Institute for Entrepreneurship and
Business Ventures at the KU School of Business. A national
search for an acclaimed entrepreneurial and economic scholar
to fill the professorship has begun.
The Koch Foundation's latest grant of $500,000, which will
be eligible for state matching support through the Kansas
Partnership for Faculty of Distinction Program, will be combined
with previous Koch Foundation contributions totaling $3 million.
Together the contributions will create the fourth-largest
professorship fund at the Kansas University Endowment Association.
"This new professorship will be of great value to the
KU School of Business as it strives to attain its goal of
ranking among the top public business schools in the country,"
Chancellor Robert Hemenway said. "With the State of Kansas
matching funds, the Koch Professorship will be equivalent
to a fund valued at $4 million. We are grateful that Koch
chose to make this investment in KU because it will allow
us to launch this promising institute during a time of economic
uncertainty and fiscal restraint.
"It is appropriate that the new institute and the entrepreneurship
professorship are being created by a Wichita-based family
foundation," Hemenway said. "Wichita has long been
recognized as the birthplace of many prominent entrepreneurial
enterprises, including Cessna, Coleman, Pizza Hut, and, of
course, Koch Industries."
Charles Koch, chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, said the
new institute and Koch Professor would help students learn
the fundamental economic and ethical components of entrepreneurship.
"To us, true entrepreneurship requires creating real
value and profiting only by ethical and economic means,"
Koch said. "That, in turn, requires embracing certain
core values such as integrity, humility and responsibility.
Without these values, no organization can succeed long term.
We are being reminded of this reality nearly every day, and
we hope the new institute will help students understand that."
The professorship and the institute will offer courses, programs
for students and members of the business community, and other
initiatives. The institute will coordinate the school's existing
entrepreneurship programs, including related courses, scholarships,
internships, student development, and faculty support.
The institute will provide value to Kansas, according to
William L. Fuerst, dean of business. "Through public
programs and courses in entrepreneurship, the school will
be able to increase its support of an area of strategic importance
to the state of Kansas and the region," he said.
The gift continues a longstanding relationship between KU
and the family of the late Mary Robinson Koch, whose grandfather,
David Hamilton Robinson, was one of the three original tenured
professors at KU. Robinson taught Latin and Greek from 1866
until his death in 1885.
The foundation's gift complements other investments it has
made in the Center for Entrepreneurship at Wichita State University,
Junior Achievement, Students in Free Enterprise, and Youth
Entrepreneurs of Kansas. Youth Entrepreneurs, established
by the Charles G. Koch Foundation and chaired by Elizabeth
Koch, provides economic and entrepreneurial education for
high school students in Lawrence, Wichita, Augusta, Valley
Center, Haysville, and Topeka. Since it's founding in 1991,
more than 3,500 Kansas students have graduated from YEK.