In the fall of 2021, Concordia's new Center for Free Enterprise will officially open under the leadership of newly appointed director, M. Scott Niederjohn, Ph.D.

Housed in the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center building, the Concordia Center for Free Enterprise (CCFE) will promote the ideals of a free and virtuous society drawing upon four distinct pillars of work: Research, Education, Application, and Public Policy.

  • Research:  Through peer-reviewed contributions to scholarly journals, curriculum development, and attendance at local, national, and international academic conferences, the Center will engage in the conversation and discourse of free markets and the free enterprise system. Other research-based activities of the Center will include the publication of a student research journal, and work with doctoral students on economics and free enterprise-oriented dissertations and research.
  • Education:  In addition to staffing undergraduate and graduate courses in economics, the Center will work to develop seminar-based opportunities for students to learn about capitalism and classical economics through engagement with the great thinkers in the history of liberty and free society.
  • Application:  The Center will provide programming that allows free enterprise, and the system of entrepreneurship that is central to it, to be realized in an experiential learning-based format. This includes support of student, faculty, alumni, and community-based startup companies, that embody the free enterprise spirit, often solving society’s most pressing problems – from within the private sector.
  • Public Policy:  In partnership with local and national organizations, a free-market speaker series will be established for the benefit of CUW faculty, staff, and students, as well as the wider Wisconsin community.

“The words ‘Free Enterprise’ are in the name of our building,” says Dr. Daniel Sem, dean of the Batterman School of Business. “I want to give meaning to those words, and also have Concordia be among the top free-enterprise centers in the country. To make that happen, we need someone with superb credentials, strong values, and a national reputation to help us define what Free Enterprise means to Concordia and the broader community, applying free-market principles to do more good in the world, while pursuing the four core value pillars we embrace in the Batterman School of Business: Liberty, Faith, Economics and Truth.”

Sem turned to M. Scott Niederjohn, Ph.D., a nationally respected scholar, educator, author, and speaker to turn the lofty Free Enterprise vision into a reality.

Meet the new director

A prolific scholar and writer, Niederjohn published more than 60 articles, monographs, reports, and curriculum materials in journals such as “Applied Economics,” “Monthly Labor Review,” “Journal of Urban Affairs,” “Eastern Economics Journal,” “Journal of Private Enterprise,” “Social Education,” and “Wisconsin Interest.” Niederjohn is also the co-author of two books, “Economic Episodes in American History” by Wohl Publishing and “Teachers Can be Financially Fit” by Springer.

During the fall of 2013, Niederjohn was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach at the University of Luxembourg. He serves on the Wisconsin Governor’s Council for Financial Literacy and has received the Governor’s Financial Literacy Award in 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2018. He was recognized in the December 2014 issue of “Money Magazine” for his work in shaping the landscape of the financial education curriculum.

“This position is a chance for me to return to what I have the most passion for, teaching and students,” says Niederjohn. “Concordia approached me at the right time. Not only will I have an opportunity to work with CUW students at the undergrad level, but the new Center will offer vital programs for members of the community to enhance economic and financial understanding and literacy.”

Niederjohn holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MBA with an applied economics concentration from Marquette University. He and his wife, Stephanie, live in Wauwatosa, Wis. with their four children.

He transitioned to Concordia on August 1 from Lakeland University where he currently serves as Senior Vice President for Advancement and Cooperative Education.

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