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Oklahoma State University

Vance Fried, director of the ISFE and professor of entrepreneurship, retires after 30 with OSU

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Vance Fried, director of the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise and professor of entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business, retired in February after 30 years at Oklahoma State University. 

Originally from Hollis, Okla., Fried received a bachelor’s degree in finance from OSU in 1973. He went on to attend law school at the University of Michigan. After law school, he moved back to Oklahoma and spent 10 years as an attorney, an executive with an independent oil company and an investment banker.  

Vance Fried

Fried then decided to become a business school professor and returned to OSU for post-doctorate study in management. After just one year, the OSU business college’s management department hired him as an assistant professor. 

During his tenure, Fried was instrumental in developing the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise. The institute was chartered in February 2015 to focus on teaching and research on principled entrepreneurship, regulation, markets, public policy and the role of business in a free society. The institute is a university-wide, multi-disciplinary institute housed in the provost’s office. Fried was also one of several who helped create the School of Entrepreneurship.

Fried has published more than 40 articles and journals. His work has allowed him to present in several different countries and all over the United States. 

His extensively funded research began with venture capitalism and the management of rapid growth firms early in his career. “I got to see the venture capital industry and Silicon Valley in their adolescence,” Fried says. “More recently, I looked at higher education, including writing the book Better/Cheaper College and several follow-up papers.”

Fried’s numerous awards and recognitions include being named an Outstanding Instructor by the Spears School, the Chandler-Frates & Reitz Teaching Excellence Award from OSU-Tulsa’s MBA program, and an Adjunct Scholar by the Cato Institute.  

Fried has also sat on boards and committees both for OSU and the business community. He currently serves as president of the TEL Foundation and managing director of EdBooks. TEL is a non-profit that operates two think tanks, one  that looks at state public policy and the other, the management of innovative K-12 schools.  

Fried will continue to work part-time for OSU as director of the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise.

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