CLEMSON — Clemson University’s College of Business has added a new dimension to its research and education with the addition of The Hayek Center for the Business of Prosperity, according to the research center’s new leader.
Reed Watson ’04, a professor of practice in the John E. Walker Department of Economics, will lead daily operations and fundraising efforts for the center, which recently was approved by the university’s board of trustees.
“The Hayek Center for the Business of Prosperity is a one-of-a-kind research and learning center that will enrich business education at Clemson University,” Watson said. “Beyond educating our students on how to succeed at business, the center will examine through research and teaching the fundamental purpose of business. We want Clemson students to understand the ‘why’ of business, as well as the ‘how.’”
Because of its innovative focus, Watson said the center will distinguish Clemson’s College of Business from its academic peers.
“Through a combination of scholarly research, graduate fellowships and undergraduate education, the center will explore when and under what conditions business advances human well-being. Understanding the ‘why’ of business will give our graduates a sense of purpose in knowing their professional lives matter,” he added. “We think it’s important for students to see business, at its core, is a vehicle for serving others.”
The first undergraduate course offered through The Hayek Center is being introduced this fall. “Why Business?” (ECON-4980) will take a non-traditional look at business, Watson said.
“The College of Business already does a world-class job of educating its students how to be successful in the various business disciplines, such as accounting, economics, finance and marketing,” he said. “What this course will do is complement that vocational training by providing students with a deeper appreciation for the role business has played in improving the human condition.”
Further, Watson said the research center’s mission will advance the intent of university founder Thomas Green Clemson by exploring the potential for an open marketplace of goods and ideas to promote prosperity in the state of South Carolina and beyond.
“The Hayek Center is breaking new ground in business education and it aligns with Thomas Green Clemson’s vision for the university,” Watson said. “By looking at business through a different lens, we are enriching the experience of our students. Not only will they leave here understanding how to be successful, they will understand that their success will enrich lives other than their own.”
The Hayek Center is being funded by private gifts and is named for Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek.