“Educating Tyler” – A response from Walter Block

Although I sympathize with Tyler MacNeill and his sad learning story (his tale roughly patterns my own experience as a student), I can’t say that I fully agree with him. Well, I agree with him in spirit, but not in the details, and the devil is often in the details.

I think it is fine that SOME of the faculty on campus be just as Tyler describes his teacher: a socialist Marxist left wing environmentalist, Swedish welfare statist, as long as there are OTHER professors who take different views, including Austro-libertarianism, my own perspective. In that way, the students will hear both, or rather, all sides of an issue. It will be especially enlightening for students to see these professors debate each other at extra curricular events. Sadly, very few universities, none in Canada that I know of, offer this kind of broad based educational experience.

Tyler, I wrote this Open Letter, below, before I read of your plight, but it is really addressed to you, and to hundreds of other students who have gone through what you have gone through. As you’ll see, there is little balance within our economics department, but there is PLENTY across campus (virtually all profs in our departments of sociology, philosophy, history, poli sci, have similar views to your economics professor):

Open letter to college aged students interested in Austro libertarianism:

Please consider enrolling at Loyola University New Orleans. I’d LOVE to have you as a student. If you have made the error of enrolling elsewhere, do not transfer to Loyola ASAP. Do it RIGHT NOW!!!! If you are seriously interested, I will ask my dean to try to overcome any deadline dates you may have missed for fall admission, transfer, scholarships, etc.

All of my colleagues in our four member econ dept  are very free market oriented.  Two others of them, apart from me, are also Austrians (Bill Barnett, Dan D’Amico). The one non Austrian in the dept (John Levendis) is very sympathetic to this school of thought and is a staunch libertarian. Plus a colleague in the finance dept, Stuart Wood, a former student of Israel Kirzner’s, is a staunch Austrian; another finance prof, Ron Christner, is also a supporter of markets. There are also two solid libertarian profs in our law school (Jim Viator, David Gruning). Nick Capaldi, another libertarian, teaches business ethics. Plus, we have free enterprise oriented professors teaching marketing (Jerry Goolsby) and accounting (Patrick Lynch, Lee Yao).  We even have a professor of chemistry, Bill Walkenhorst, who is supportive of our free enterprise initiatives, and attends many of our events.  It is also possible to earn a BA in economics, which, instead of business courses, you take courses in humanities and social sciences.

Our economics club which meets twice a month, has had such outside speakers as Hans Hoppe, Guido Hulsmann, Tom DiLorenzo, Bob Higgs, Walter Williams, Roger Garrison, Tom Woods, Peter Boettke, Tibor Machan, James Buchanan, George Ayittey, Richard Ebeling and Joe Salerno. Ron Paul spoke for the econ club in the fall, 2009 to a gigantic audience. Our libertarian seminar studies books like Rothbard’s For a New Liberty and the Ethics of Liberty.  Our Austrian economic seminar discusses publications such as Mises’ Human Action, and, most recently,  Murray Rothbard’s The Case Against the Fed, and Tom Wood’s, Meltdown. These seminars are so popular with libertarian students at other New Orleans area Universities (Tulane, UNO) that not only do they attend them, they actually enroll in our courses (economics as taught at these other universities is very mainstream; that is, Keynesian and mathematically oriented.)

With all of this Austro-libertarian activity, and free market professors, as you can imagine, many of our students have adopted this philosophy. C’mon down. You’ll be among friends. At pretty much at any other college, with one or two exceptions, you’d be an ugly duckling. With us, you’ll be a beautiful swan. This doesn’t mean we don’t have socialist professors. Like most universities, we have plenty of them and they vastly outnumber us; but this is not altogether to the bad: it is good to acquaint yourself with all perspectives in political economy. However, Loyola is virtually unique in also presenting students with a strong free libertarian Austrian enterprise point of view.

But isn’t New Orleans now under water? Not a bit of it. While there are vast stretches of the Big Easy that have been negatively impacted by Katrina and not yet rebuilt, the uptown university area where Loyola (and Tulane) is located is as beautiful as it ever has been. As well, that other geographical student focus, the fabled French Quarter, is up and running, ready for business as usual. So come on down, and enjoy an excellent education at Loyola University New Orleans.

Yes, application numbers were lower than usual for a few years after 2005. But this is a great opportunity for students who otherwise might not have thought of  Loyola University New Orleans as a place to study. WE DO OFFER SCHOLARSHIPS.

The Office of Admissions offers several types of academic scholarships based on need and merit. My suggestion is to apply to Loyola http://apply.loyno.edu/ to determine your eligibility. The College of Business does offer some scholarships on a one-time basis based on need and academics, but are reserved for current students, not new admits. Please let me know if you have any questions about this. The website offers quite a bit of useful information, specifically on the scholarships and financial aid webpage http://www.loyno.edu/financialaid/

Best regards,

Walter

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business
Loyola University New Orleans
6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 5, Miller Hall 318
New Orleans, LA 70118
tel: (504) 864-7934
fax: (504) 864-7970
wblock@loyno.edu

2 Responses to ““Educating Tyler” – A response from Walter Block”

  1. Ryan says:

    What I wouldn't have given to have read this letter in 1998…

  2. @OrganicTory says:

    Wow! A student of Walter Block in spirit…

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