The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise at Western Carolina University (CSFE) was established on December 4, 2015 by a unanimous vote of WCU's Board of Trustees (BOT). The BOT approved a mission statement and a list of activities and deliverables that together serve as the center's guide to operations.
The Organization is comprised three main compartments: the director, the Advisory Board and Administrative Personnel.
The Director of the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise, is Edward J. Lopez. Dr. Lopez is the Professor of Economics and BB&T Distinguished Professor of Capitalism.
Dr. Lopez joined the WCU Faculty in 2012 and teaches classes in public finance, ethics of capitalism, applied business economics, and principles of macroeconomics.Edward's research focuses on the economics of ideas, entrepreneurship, and politics. On campus Edward served as the convener of the Council of Distinguished Professors (2013-2015), chair of the search committee for Gimelstob-Landry Distinguished Professor in Economic Development (2015, 2016), and member of: Dean's Advisory Council (2017-2019), Vice Chancellor of Development & Alumni Affairs search (2016), Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance search (2014), University Collegial Review (2014-2015), Economics Faculty search (2015-2016), School of Economics, Mangement Project Management Collegial Review (2015-16, 16-17), Chancellor's Honorary Doctorate selection (2013), and College of Business Curriculum (2012-2014). More information is available at faculty.wcu.edu/ejlopez/.
During the spring 2017, the Center's Advisory Board was established. The Board Consists of six current WCU faculty members who were appointed by the Provost, as well as five distinguished members of the community from the private and public sectors, and the Director as a non-voting ex officio member. As designed the board's purpose include the following responsibilities:
|Secretary (Internal)||Niall||Michelsen||Professor of Political Science & Public Affiars||Michelsen|
|Board Director||Edward||Lopez||Director of CSFE & Professor of Economics||Lopez|
|Internal||Heidi||Buchanan||Research & Instruction Libarian & Literacy Coordinator||Buchanan|
|Internal||Dale||Carpenter||Dean of College of Education & Allied Professions||Carpenter|
|Internal||Jim||DeConinck||Professor of Sales & Marketing||DeConinck|
|Internal||Billy||Ogletree||Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders||Ogletree|
|External||Georg||Van Berg||Departmental Chair of Political Sciences||Van Berg|
|External||Phil||Walker||Prior Senior Vice President for BB&T's western division||Walker|
|Internal||Bill||Yang||Professor of Electrical Engineering||Yang|
|External||Tony||Zande||WCU Foundation Board of Directors||Zande|