- August 8, 2014
It's not every day that an economics department gets national media attention. Fact is, most scientists labor in obscurity.
But the Florida Gulf Coast University's men's basketball team reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament spun off lots of news about the Fort Myers-based university, including its economics department.
Stories posted on widely followed websites such as Forbes.com and BusinessInsider.com highlighted the fact that economics professors at FGCU teach free-market principles to students, a rare thing on most left-leaning campuses.
As the Business Observer reported in 2011, FGCU's economics department makes Ayn Rand's novel “Atlas Shrugged” required reading. Written in 1957, the book depicts the struggle of the heroic entrepreneur against a despondent society and government.
Fans of free markets quickly spread the news on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. The Business Observer's own story on the university's economics department got nearly 800 page views in a few days, evidence of the viral nature of news.