November 4, 2020 – Economic Progress

Virginia Tech's Kellogg Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics helps students see problems from multiple angles


Since it was established in 2015, Virginia Tech’s program in philosophy, politics, and economics, now known as the Kellogg Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, has brought together students, experts, and faculty to explore complicated issues from multiple perspectives and break down disciplinary silos. The center complements the university’s other degree offerings that address social problems from ethical, political, and economic dimensions.

The Kellogg Center empowers students with the flexible critical-thinking and communication skills required in 21st-century careers. It also equips future leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to contribute to their communities and society.

The Charles Koch Foundation (CKF) has supported the program since its launch and will now provide an additional $1.4 million in support. The new funding will allow the university to expand the program and its student base by adding four additional tenure-track professors (for a total of five). It also will allow the university to expand its recently added philosophy, politics, and economics major, create a speaker series, and establish a student ambassador/fellowship program.

David Kellogg, former CEO of Solers, Inc. and managing director of Kellogg Capital, LLC also has pledged to support this expansion.

“The Kellogg Center creates an intersection of the formal reasoning of philosophy, the humanity of political science, and the quantitative discipline of economics,” said Kellogg. “Dr. Moehler has done an outstanding job laying the groundwork for this center, and I am grateful for his efforts and proud to support him in taking it to the next level by establishing a philosophy, politics, and economics research capability at Virginia Tech.”

Dr. Michael Moehler directs the Kellogg Center. He said, “I am grateful to our funders and the university for their support. It has been a tremendous pleasure to build a new interdisciplinary program that involves faculty and students from across campus.”

The center will serve as a hub for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences. It will also work to spark research collaborations in other disciplines across the university that have social, ethical, economic, or political dimensions.

“In our increasingly complex world, we need to be able to apply multiple perspectives to pressing, complicated problems,” said Laura Belmonte, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. “The Kellogg Center will contribute to Virginia Tech’s vision of educating students who, informed by the latest research, can help develop ethical, feasible solutions to challenging societal problems.”

The program will continue to offer students an innovative learning environment where they can become reflective, culturally informed, and engaged global citizens who take their social responsibilities seriously. Courses already have allowed students to explore pressing issues including the social benefits of the sharing economy, the influence of gender, race, and class on political activism, and intergenerational justice.

“We think every student has the potential to contribute to solving society’s most pressing challenges, and that requires ensuring that they have the opportunity to examine problems from multiple angles — and to learn from those who have a different perspective,” said CKF Executive Director Ryan Stowers. “Virginia Tech’s Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program demonstrates what that looks like through creating an engaging learning environment and fostering a dialogue across disciplines. We’re excited to support its efforts.”

Click here to read Virginia Tech’s announcement.