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Austrian economics program denied at Loyola New Orleans

As reported today in the Loyola-N.O. paper The Maroon, an attempt by Austrian professors there to establish an Austrian economics master’s program has been rejected by the “Standing Council for Academic Planning.” The program was proposed by the heroic Bill Barnett and Dan D’Amico; Walter Block is also a professor there, making this one of the strongest Austrian econ departments in the world.

With interest in Austrian economics growing, with its singularly coherent explanation of the current economic morass, with Loyola-NO being one of the most significant Austrian strongholds in academia, such a program of course makes sense. So, of course, it also makes sense that this would be feared and rejected by mainstream defenders of the old guard. What a shame.

As the Maroon article notes,

Maria Cuadra, business senior and president of the Economics Club, said she believes this new program would have benefited both the undergraduate and graduate programs.

“Master’s students would be able to become members of the Economics Club and consistently expose their working papers and research topics on panels. Undergraduate students interested in this discipline will have the opportunity to be actively involved in these research processes,” Cuadra said.

According to D’Amico, Austrian economics incorporates human factors such as uncertainty, ignorance, morality, culture and faith. D’Amico also stressed that Austrian economics emphasizes the history of economic thought. The unique strategies of Austrian economics, which are values of the Loyola mission, would have been a major aspect of the MA program, he said.

Professors are not the only supporters of an Austrian economics program. Over 330 students worldwide expressed interest in the master’s program through a survey the College of Business shared through Facebook and several Austrian economics networks.

Cuadra said she believes an Austrian economics master’s program would be good for Loyola.

“The level of research at the university will increase, and students are going to be more exposed to the fresh, new ideas of graduate students,” Cuadra said.

Although it was not approved, D’Amico said the College of Business has not given up on this master’s program.

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito!


Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella is an attorney in Houston, director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom, and editor of Libertarian Papers.

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