Topics: Administrative, Miller College of Business, Alumni

March 2, 2016

Ball State today announced that alumnus “Papa John” Schnatter and the Charles Koch Foundation have partnered to fund the school’s new John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.

Schnatter, an ’83 graduate of Ball State and speaker for the university’s 2015 Spring Commencement, said the $3.25 million grant will support the university’s goal to become a national model for values- and ethics-based entrepreneurship, developing research and talent to help solve contemporary problems.

“I have always been grateful for the quality education I received at Ball State, and I hope that students and scholars alike will participate in all that the Institute will have to offer,” Schnatter said. “We’re proud to support this effort for the next generation to learn and think critically about free market principles and to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the know-how to launch successful businesses.”

Michael Goldsby, PhD, who has taught business at Ball State for 15 years and now serves as the university’s chief entrepreneurship officer and Stoops Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship, will lead the new Institute. Goldsby is author of several books, including “Innovation Acceleration: Transforming Organizational Thinking,” and several business courses, including The Entrepreneur’s Toolkit.

“We are honored that John is supporting his alma mater in our entrepreneurial efforts, and we’re excited to be moving forward with renewed energy,” said Acting President Terry King. “This gift allows us to accelerate and supplement our existing plans, with Mike leading the charge. This allows us to have greater reach in a shorter time frame.”

The grant will help the university fund four tenure-track professorships, an operations manager, two graduate assistants, an Entrepreneurial Learning Academy and Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy, the Entrepreneurship Center, and other educational and research activities in the Institute and the university’s Department of Economics.

“I am excited about the prospect of advancing our learners to leaders as we have long planned, moving forward and embracing entrepreneurship not only in business, but as a teaching methodology and process for solving problems,” Goldsby said. “We have a unique opportunity to exemplify this approach on our campus, and we’re getting external support because the world needs problem-solvers.”

Along with several Ball State colleagues, Goldsby has been a recipient of several grants from the Koch Foundation over the past decade and is widely considered a national expert on entrepreneurship and economics.

“We are proud to partner with John and Annette Schnatter to support Ball State’s exciting vision,” said Charles Koch Foundation President Brian Hooks.

The Institute will be housed in the Whitinger Business Building.

“A grant such as this one fits perfectly with entrepreneurship – we now have the seed money to expand opportunities for students and faculty,” Goldsby added.