BATON ROUGE, La. – The University of Louisiana System and its eight campuses have commissioned studies that, for the first time, will make it possible to document their impact on Louisiana’s economy and quality of life.
Applied Research Technology Corporation of Baton Rouge will conduct the studies to determine each campus’ economic and quality of life contribution regionally and the system’s impact on the state as a whole. Results are expected by late spring.
“Are our regions and state better off financially because of the eight universities in our system? Are our communities better places to live as a result of our universities’ presence? These studies will help us answer these questions. And I think the public will be impressed with the results,” UL System Chair Elsie Burkhalter said.
UL System President Randy Moffett said the studies are essential in showing the state’s return on its investment. The eight UL System campuses, situated throughout the state, include Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Northwestern State University, Nicholls State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and University of Louisiana at Monroe.
“Over the past two years, the Legislature and public have generously supported Louisiana’s universities with additional funding. We owe it to them to continue our efforts to improve the quality of education on our campuses and to quantify our value in the most concrete terms possible,” Moffett said. “The total economic impact of our universities is difficult to measure, but with a system of eight universities that employs approximately 11,500 faculty and staff, educates more than 80,000 students, and produces the lion’s share of Louisiana’s graduates for key high-demand careers, we know the impact is significant.”
The studies will compile expenditures from a variety of sources (the university budget, faculty and staff, students, university visitors, university retirees, vendors and affiliated organizations) to compute an economic impact dollar figure that represents each university’s fiscal impact and contributions to the region and state. Based on a methodology established through a seminal study by the American Council on Education, the UL System studies will detail expenditures and use a multiplier to determine the total impact on each region and the state.
Further, it will determine each university’s influence on the region through its activities and programs and make a value-added assessment of what the university’s graduates contribute to the regional and statewide economy, as well as to society in general.
It will also incorporate the comments of stakeholders, such as business and industry leaders.
Similar studies have been commissioned by the California State System, the University System of Georgia, the University of Maine System and the University of Texas System, as well as individual universities. In Louisiana, four UL System institutions — Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, UL Lafayette and UL Monroe — have conducted their own economic impact studies over the years.
For more information about the eight universities of the UL System, visit the system’s website at www.ulsystem.edu.