Professor James Otteson has joined The Fund for American Studies as the Charles G. Koch Senior Fellow. In this position, he will work with senior TFAS staff on developing and securing funding for a series of new projects aimed at reaching more people in more ways with the TFAS vision of freedom and prosperity.
Formerly the chairman of the department of philosophy at the University of Alabama, Otteson is now professor of philosophy and economics at Yeshiva University. He will continue to teach at Yeshiva while serving at the Charles G. Koch Senior Fellow.
In announcing this new appointment, TFAS President Roger Ream commented, “Jim brings to this position a very strong reputation among the donor and academic communities. His association with TFAS will be very positive for us, offering opportunities for growth in a difficult political and economic environment.”
Otteson remarked, “I hope to help TFAS continue and expand what it has done so well, namely encouraging an appreciation of the American political and economic tradition that students might not otherwise develop. I believe we are in a battle for the future of our civilization, and I believe the forces–both internal and external–that would destroy our civilization are gaining ground.”
Otteson, who earned his doctorate at University of Chicago, is an award-winning author and scholar, as well as a popular classroom teacher. He joined the TFAS faculty last summer, teaching in the Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service.
Through the course, the Ethics and Values of Philanthropy, Otteson impressed upon students that “effective–and moral–philanthropy is not simply about giving money away. It is about coming to understand who truly needs help, what help would be truly effective, and what are the best ways to help.”
When asked how he would like to see The Fund grow and evolve, Otteson commented, “The more students who can be exposed to its important mission, the better. But as a college professor, I have seen first-hand how poorly colleges and universities have managed to teach their students American history, the arguments for limited government, and the blessings of American liberty. So I would like to see The Fund fill in those voids. As The Fund expands the range of courses and programs it offers, I would like to see it begin building its own core curriculum that would constitute the beginnings of a serious and true liberal arts education. Perhaps in time The Fund can become its own ‘college,’ providing the foundations of an education befitting a free citizen of the American republic.”