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Statement of Principles

The Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise is a research and education center in the Plaster College of Business focusing on entrepreneurship. At its core, the Institute further examines market and constitutionally oriented approaches to economic and social issues. This mission is based on the view that a limited government, such as that laid out in the Constitutional foundation of the United States, is a necessary component of a just and prosperous society.

The Institute is dedicated to examining the intellectual, moral, and practical case for the principles stated in the mission. It takes no positions as an institution, so its scholars and speakers participate in the mission with academic freedom. Because competition among various ideas is essential to a free society, the Institute takes pains to engage with those who hold different points of view.

Program and Research Integrity

The Institute’s operations are financed by Lindenwood University using its own resources and grants from a variety of external sources. The Institute does not perform contract research nor organize programs contracted by outside entities. The principles outlined in this statement are applicable to all of the Institute’s activities and funding sources.

The Institute’s research and programming agendas are determined by its director in consultation with its advisory board, the directors of its constituent centers, its staff, and its internal and external scholars. The substance and conclusions of the Institute’s research and publications are determined by the individuals conducting the research. Similarly, the content and views expressed by speakers and other participants during Institute events are determined by the individuals themselves, not by the Institute.

Policy Advocacy

As part of a tax-exempt educational organization governed by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the Institute is generally prohibited from attempting to influence legislation. It is allowed to “conduct educational meetings, prepare and distribute educational materials, or otherwise consider public policy issues in an educational manner.” On top of these legal constraints is the belief that any attempts to formulate Institute-wide positions would interfere with the intellectual independence of individual scholars. As such, the Institute takes no institutional positions on policy issues, nor is it a member of any organization that does so.

Institute scholars and speakers frequently take positions on policy and other issues, including directly advocating for or against legislation. When they do, they speak for themselves and not for the Institute or its other scholars and speakers.

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