Young, the other co-director of the new WVU center, taught economics at Emory University and the University of Mississippi between 2003 and 2009, before coming to WVU in the fall of 2009.
The first paper listed on Young's resume, published in 1999, advocates for the abolition of publicly funded education, according to an online summary. The paper, "Enterprising Education: Doing Away with the Public School System," was intended to "critically examine the accepted notion that primary education is a legitimate and necessary function of the state."
The article co-written by Young concluded "that the state provision of primary education cannot be justified ... and that market provision is a preferable alternative."
Throughout its history, WVU has been a state-funded and state-run university. Including its School of Medicine, WVU received more than $157 million in this year's state budget, according to the state Budget Office's website.
On Tuesday, WVU President Gordon Gee said in the school's news release, "We truly appreciate the generous gifts from the Kendricks and the Charles Koch Foundation in support of West Virginia University's Center for Free Enterprise. This gift will allow additional student and faculty research in this important area of study."
"Randy and I are delighted to partner with the Charles Koch Foundation in establishing the Center for Free Enterprise at WVU," Ken Kendrick said in the release. "I have been a lifelong entrepreneur and am very grateful for the opportunity to have started my business career in West Virginia many years ago. I believe supporting the Center is a great way to give back to WVU."
Kendrick is the founder of Datatel Inc., a company that develops software for managing technology for colleges and universities. He is also the managing partner of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks. The Kendricks have made several donations to WVU, some for more than $1 million, for philanthropic projects and sports programs since 2005.
Richard Fink, president of the Charles Koch Foundation, said, "Talented scholars working together to produce solid research is an exciting and powerful force for progress.
"By bringing together thoughtful academics, WVU's Center has the potential to make significant contributions to our understanding of free societies and how they help people improve their lives."
The Koch Foundation also funds the Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia, and has funded several positions in the WVU business school.
The foundation published a book by WVU economic professor Russell Sobel, "Unleashing Capitalism," in 2007. The book was embraced by several West Virginia policy leaders, including then-Gov. Joe Manchin. Others questioned some of its conclusions, including Sobel's argument that mine safety laws often harm coal miners by lowering wages, but do little to prevent major disasters.
Sobel left WVU abruptly in the middle of the fall 2011 semester, and is now a visiting professor at The Citadel military college in South Carolina.
Another Koch-funded group, Americans for Prosperity, recently formed a chapter in West Virginia and is paying for widespread television and Internet ads attacking Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., who is running for re-election.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.