Monday, January 12, 2015

Susan Koch: Study demonstrates university's economic value

The following is a portion of a guest column written by UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. It was published in The State Journal-Register on January 11, 2015.

"Is it possible to calculate the actual economic impact, the financial value creation, of a university on its community?

The answer is “yes” and the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois has recently done just that with the help of Economic Modeling Specialists International, a nationally known research firm whose economists have conducted more than 1,200 economic impact studies for colleges and universities across the country.

A central element of the recent study, which uses fiscal year 2013-14 student and financial data, is a regional economic impact analysis that estimates three effects: University operations, student spending and the increased productivity of college-educated alumni who were employed in the regional workforce during the analysis year.

The numbers are impressive. In terms of university operations, UIS is an important employer in Sangamon County.

In 2013-14, the campus employed 1,129 faculty and staff with a total payroll of $67.1 million, much of which was spent by UIS employees in the county on food, housing, clothing and other living expenses. UIS is also a large-scale buyer of goods and services — spending $31.1 million in the analysis year for supplies, professional services and facilities. The total income that UIS created in 2013-14 as a result of its day-to-day operations was $75.3 million."

Read the full column online