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Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality

Wheeling University’s Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality (ISCM) addresses the ways in which the foundations and principles of morality are, can, and should be integrated into free-market capitalism. The Institute represents a natural extension of the University’s long-standing commitment to a liberal arts education in accord with, and based upon, traditional Ignatian values. It also serves as an interactive public forum designed to invite civil debate, wherein diverse opinions are encouraged among philosophers, economists, theologians, business professionals, academicians, students, community leaders, and the public at large.

Certain broad concepts upon which a capitalist society is developed include natural law, individualism, personalism, personal responsibility, freedom, morality, civil society, free markets, private property, technology, justice, law, authority, constitutionalism, and pluralism. These fundamental concepts provide a basis for study by various disciplines such as Philosophy, Economics, Political Science, Law, History and Theology. A goal of the Institute is to facilitate an exchange of ideas between the disciplines so as to provide a more complete understanding of Capitalism as a just and moral system.

As an interdisciplinary research center, the Institute promotes the creation and dissemination of significant conceptual, empirical and applied knowledge in the study of the morality of capitalism. We will sponsor and produce leading-edge research to facilitate a philosophical point of view of the morality of capitalism in the public domain. Our goal is to build social and ethical capital  among students, educators, business practitioners and other interested observers at the local, national, and international levels.

Political & Economic Philosophy Major

The Political & Economic Philosophy Major is a trans-disciplinary major that integrates the knowledge gained by the study of economics, political science and philosophy. Students will be encouraged and guided in an exploration of each of these disciplines, to understand how their connections affect ethics, law and public policy. This major is especially well-suited for Pre-Law students.

WU’s Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality provides all incoming majors in the Department of Business and majors in Political and Economic Philosophy with a copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand along with Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. These books will be employed in a variety of business, economic, philosophy, theology, political science, and other classes throughout the curriculum.

Committee Members

Dr. Edward W. Younkins
Professor of Accountancy & Business Administration Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality

Dr. Homan Hajiran
Professor of Economics

Dr. John E. Mansuy
Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Business

Dr. Normand J. Paulhus
Professor of Theology  

Dr. Joseph Laker
Professor of History

James A. O’Brien, S.J.
Associate Professor of Philosophy

ISCM Distinguished Speaker Series

The Institute has a distinguished speaker program in order to provide a series of forums for discussing issues regarding capitalism and morality, business ethics, and related issues.

Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)

Founded in 1975, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) has grown to become one of the largest collegiate organizations in the world. SIFE teams are active on more than 1,200 college and university campuses in 31 countries around the world. 

Working together as a team, and through the mentorship of a faculty advisor(s), SIFE students apply their classroom experiences to develop and implement educational outreach programs that teach individuals in their communites the principles of market economics, entrepreneurship, personal financial success and business ethics.

Interested students should contact WU’s SIFE Program Director, John E. Mansuy at

Student Fellows Program

The WU Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality provides an opportunity for Wheeling University students to interact with faculty and guest speakers of the Institute. Student Fellows are invited to meet and discuss with faculty and guest speakers ideas relating to moral, political and economic thought. Student Fellows will have the opportunity to prepare and help to organize various ISCM activities. Some may also have the chance to help maintain and update the ISCM website.

To apply for membership in the WU Institute Student Fellows Program, please submit a statement via email of no more than 400 words, explaining your interest in moral, political and economic thought. Please include details of your studies, extracurricular activities and work experience, information about your interests in moral, political and economic thought, and the type of contribution you would like to make to the Student Fellows Program.

Submit application statement to Kathleen Solovan, Administrator of the BB&T gift at