Montgomery appointed as the new Donald L. Wilson Professor of Enterprise and Leadership
A few years ago, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore came to Grinnell to help dedicate the Science Center named for his partner, Robert N. Noyce '49. At a meeting with Professor Swartz’s first-year tutorial, a student asked what kind of venture Mr. Moore would start if he were setting out to make a lot of money today. Moore said that he had never set out to make a lot of money. He liked solving interesting problems, and pursued the ones that he found most exciting. The problems he had sought to work on obviously had made him lots of money, but that was never the motivating factor. It was mostly about having fun. Moore’s remark illustrates that entrepreneurship and liberal arts make less strange bedfellows than many people might suppose. They are both, after all, ultimately about ideas. The 20th Century’s most famous entrepreneur, Henry Ford, was an inventor, who began his career working for Thomas Edison. Not all of his innovations were mechanical: he shocked the industrial world by paying his skilled workers twice the daily wage that prevailed in the market. Still, entrepreneurship differs from most aspects of education in that it is less about studying ideas, than about implementing them. Neither the automobile nor the assembly line was Ford’s idea. But he applied the assembly line on such a massive scale that automobiles became affordable for workers’ families, instead of merely toys for the rich. In this sense, Ford was no less a revolutionary than Rousseau or Darwin. The Donald L. Wilson Program promotes the theory and practice of innovation, enterprise, and leadership in the business, government, and non-profit sectors. We try to encourage students to become “entrepreneurial” in whatever career they pursue. Our three primary activities are:
• Funding student summer internships in (mainly) the private sector – profit or non-profit.
• Bringing alumni back to campus to share their real-world experience and insights by teaching short (3-week) courses.
• Funding class visits by professionals who stimulate student thinking about entrepreneurship and innovation.
We are deeply grateful to the college administration and the many alumni and trustees who have generously given the Wilson Program their time, energy and financial support. Interested alumni can contact Montgomery at email@example.com. Professor Douglas Caulkins, emeritus director of the Wilson Program continues to make substantial contributions to our efforts.
• “What Kind of Capital Do You Need to Start a Business, Financial or Human?” (with Terry Johnson and Syed Faisal ‘97), Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, February, 2005.
• "Are Part-Time Women Paid Less? A Model with Firm-Specific Effects," (with James Cosgrove) Economic Inquiry, January 1995.
• "Compensation Structure and Establishment Quit and Fire Rates," (with Irene Powell and James Cosgrove), Industrial Relations, Spring 1994.
• "Fringe Benefits and the Demand for Part-Timer Workers," (with James Cosgrove), Industrial and Labor Relations Review, October 1993.
• "Does the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit Create Jobs at Subsidized Firms?" (with John Bishop), Industrial Relations, Fall 1993.
• "Evidence on Firm Participation in Employment Subsidy Programs," (with John Bishop), Industrial Relations, Winter 1986.
• "On the Dynamic Response of a Firm to an Employment Subsidy with Fixed Threshold," (with Charles Wilson), The Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, December 1985.
Research on other subjects has appeared The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Industrial and Labor Relations Review, The Review of Economic Dynamics and Control, Land Economics, The Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, The Economics of Education Review, The Journal of Urban Economics, and others. His essays have been published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Des Moines Register, The Dallas Morning News, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, The Mystery Readers Journal, The American (online), and The Imperfect Parent (online), and in various edited volumes. His commentary has been heard on Public Radio International’s To the Best of Our Knowledge. He is coauthor (with Tinker Powell) of a mystery novel, Theoretically Dead (New Victoria Publishers, 2001). The Wilson Program is named in honor of Donald Wilson, a 1925 graduate of Grinnell College and vice-president of Lionel D. Edie and Company, Investment Counselors and Economics Consultants. A College trustee from 1953 to 1975, Wilson was named a life trustee in 1979. Wilson passed away in 1986.