West Virginia University welcomes Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Licensing
October 18, 2021 – Economic Progress

West Virginia University welcomes Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Licensing


Since its founding at Saint Francis University (SFU) in 2016, the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation (CSOR) has grown into one of the nation’s leading sources for thought leadership and research on how occupational licensing laws can create barriers to economic opportunity.  

The center, led by Dr. Ed Timmons, has provided a critical understanding of how occupational licensing laws have proliferated and how they have impacted individuals. As a result, municipal and state policymakers have begun to scrutinize and reform their regulations in order to remove barriers to work and empower entrepreneurship.  

To continue its mission to provide best in class research about the extent, scope, and effects of occupational regulation, CSOR has announced a move to West Virginia University (WVU), a public research institution that serves almost 30,000 students.  

“Whether it’s making it harder for healthcare workers to travel across state lines to help communities overwhelmed by COVID-19 or would-be entrepreneur from getting started, burdensome occupational laws stop people from reaching their potential,” said CKF Executive Director Ryan Stowers. “We’re excited to continue to support CSOR as it looks to expand its work and reach.”   

The move will allow CSOR to scale its efforts and create new programming and capacities that will allow the center to achieve its mission. 

“I am delighted to have the Knee Center as part of the WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics,” said Dr. Joshua Hall, dean of the college. “Its policy-relevant research, commitment to experiential education opportunities for students, and engagement with veterans aligns perfectly with the mission of Chambers College and West Virginia University.” 

CKF will support CSOR with a three-year, $1.4 million grant. The Knee Family Foundation and other donors will contribute an additional $2.1 million.   

Undergraduate and graduate students at WVU will have the opportunity to be CSOR research fellows. During the transition, CSOR, the Knee Family Foundation, and the Charles Koch Foundation (CKF) will continue to support SFU research fellows.  

“I will forever be grateful to my wonderful colleagues at Saint Francis giving CSOR every opportunity to succeed,” Timmons said. “I enjoyed every single moment working with the fantastic group of students in Loretto. I’m looking forward to the Center’s future at West Virginia University.” 

Read more about CSOR’s impact here and here.  

The Charles Koch Foundation supports social entrepreneurs who have dedicated their lives to understanding the conditions needed to ensure that people are empowered to earn success, contribute to their communities, and live meaningful lives. Learn more about our efforts.