‘Without a doubt, the program is a success,’ business school dean says
A Troy University business school program that trains students to combat wokeness in the corporate world flourished in its first semester.
The Free Enterprise Scholars program wrapped up the first semester in the fall and it will continue to grow, according to scholars involved with the initiative.
“Thanks to the excellent programming, from guest speakers to highly-interactive reading groups, the program has made real progress and created a buzz of new student interest,” Dean Judson Edwards told The College Fix in an email.
“I have no doubt it will continue to grow as we launch another cohort next semester,” Edwards said. “Without a doubt, the program is a success.”
Professor Allen Mendenhall runs the program through the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy.
“We had nine students complete the program in the fall,” Mendenhall said. “Those same students are enrolled in the program this spring.”
Mendenhall (pictured) also told The Fix that the program received a grant that will provide funding for more speakers and engagement events for students.
“We were blessed to receive a generous grant from the Bradley Foundation to improve our programming and diversify our speakers beginning this spring,” Mendenhall said.
“Thanks to the Bradley grant, we plan to invite members of the community to dinner with our students and speakers,” he said.
Students enrolled in the training participated in approximately a dozen activities throughout the semester, including reading groups and a speaker series, according to a program schedule provided by Mendenhall.
One seminar involved a lecture on “how DEI programs divide people and poison organizational culture rather than uniting people and cultivating sensitivity and understanding,” Mendenhall said.
The lecture highlighted “how wokeness [foments] anger and resentment rather than civility and friendship,” according to Mendenhall.
The goal of the program going into the fall semester was to “teach future business leaders about the virtues of commerce and the morality of honest profit.”
This included teaching about the faults of “Environmental, Social, and Governance” standards, a move by liberal activists to make corporations embrace a leftist agenda on topics such as LGBT issues and climate change.
“The learning activities and social media coverage of the work immediately raised awareness throughout the business college and university about the often ignored, foundational problems associated with ESG policies,” Edwards, the business school dean, said in his comments to The Fix.
For the spring portion of the training, students will learn more about anti-woke capitalism by reading Vivek Ramaswamy’s “Woke, Inc.” The book criticizes the interjection of politics into the corporate world.
When asked about his hopes for the future of the program, Edwards said that he wants to see the training grow and improve its offerings to students.
“All business students need the intellectual grounding to offer impactful alternatives in order to avoid the long-term negative consequences this movement does to hurt societal and economic stability,” he said, in reference to ESG.
He said further:
I would like to see us expand the scope of our current program—allowing each student to experience the empowerment provided by understanding and embracing the requirement of individual freedom as the key to economic and societal advancement. This grounding will allow students to clearly see the destructive nature of ESG policies to the fundamental building blocks of free markets.
Edwards concluded by explaining his belief that the business school was rooted in the principles taught in the training.
“As a business college, I believe our faculty do largely support the [principles] of the free market system,” he said. “It’s spelled out in our mission.”
He called it “essential” for the school to teach “these values (and more)” to students.
“But it is essential for us to teach these values (and more) to our students—together, freedom and liberty, [are] the essential footpath in guiding people to happiness and success both personally and professionally,” Edwards said.