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UI Contributes $6 Billion Annually to Iowa Economy, Creates 1 in 30 Jobs

The University of Iowa contributes $6 billion to Iowa’s economy annually, and every $1 in state appropriations to the University results in a greater than 1,500 percent return for Iowans.

The University also is one of the state’s top employers and is responsible for the creation of one of every 30 jobs in the state, or a total 51,818 jobs last year.

Those are the key findings of a comprehensive economic impact study produced by Pittsburgh-based research consultant firm Tripp Umbach and made public during a news conference today. The study examined the economic, employment, and state and local government revenue impact of the UI’s operations as captured for the 2008-09 fiscal year.

More details, including a full copy of the study and information about the methodology used by Tripp Umbach, may be found at www.uiowa.edu/impact.

"The University of Iowa's primary mission—and its most significant economic development contribution—has always been and continues to be providing a rich educational experience for students from Iowa and beyond," UI President Sally Mason said."But it's gratifying to quantify the great extent to which the University contributes to the health and growth of Iowa's economy. This study tells us that—collectively and individually—our faculty, staff, students, vendors, and visitors generate billions of dollars through our operations, paid taxes, volunteerism, donations, and discoveries.”

Statewide expenditures by The University of Iowa and related constituencies totaled $2.6 billion in fiscal 2008-09. This includes direct expenditures for goods and services by the University, its employees, students, and visitors, which supported local businesses and in turn employed local individuals to sell the goods and provide the services that University constituencies needed.

When combined with $3.4 billion in indirect spending within Iowa—the re-spending within the state by businesses and individuals that received direct expenditures—the University’s overall economic impact reaches $6 billion. This means that $1 out of every $30 in the Iowa economy is generated by The University of Iowa.

The study also illustrates that when combining how The University of Iowa directly and indirectly contributes back to the state each year, the University contributes more to the state than it receives from the state. Although the University is exempt from state taxes, employees pay income tax, sales tax, and other local taxes such as real estate property taxes. The presence of the University and its spending also generates significant indirect taxes paid by companies who receive payments from the University.

As a result, state and local government revenues attributable to the presence of The University of Iowa totaled $486.9 million in fiscal 2008-09. This equates to $1.28 in tax revenue returned to state and local governments for every $1 dollar in state appropriations.

“On a relative basis, The University of Iowa is the most important driver of its state's economy among other universities we have studied,” said Paul O. Umbach, CEO and founder of Tripp Umbach.

Scientific and medical discoveries are among many University activities that pay important dividends, not only in contributions to humankind’s knowledge base but in jobs and dollars. The study found that UI research injects almost $963 million into Iowa’s economy each year. It also found that the $429.5 million the University received in 2008-09 for sponsored research and programs supported nearly 9,000 full-time equivalent jobs ranging from supply and equipment vendors to research professionals.

“Research and scholarship is a critical element of our mission and our faculty are nationally recognized and extraordinarily competitive for research funding with much of the work focused on translation for the benefit of Iowa and the nation,” said Jordan Cohen, interim vice president for research. “Our offices work hard to ensure that the resources are in place to sustain and support our active research and scholarly programs that are so vital for the success of our undergraduate and graduate students as well as our economic development commitment.”

The UI helps make Iowa a better place to live in other ways as well, providing more than $300 million in community benefits. These include $232.5 million in free care provided by UI Hospitals and Clinics; $31.3 million donated to local charitable organizations by UI faculty and staff; and nearly $37.5 million worth of volunteer time provided to area communities by students, faculty, and staff.

The University is also a magnet for out-of-state dollars, spent by Hawkeye fans in Iowa City for athletics events, patients and visitors at UI Hospitals and Clinics, patrons of University-sponsored theater and music performances, and, of course, people taking part in educational activities. Visitor spending in direct expenditures in Iowa associated with all groups was $208.1 million in 2008-09.

The UI retained Tripp Umbach in October 2009 to measure the economic, employment, and government revenue impact of operations and research. A national leader in providing economic impact analysis to leading health care organizations, universities, and academic medical centers, Tripp Umbach has completed more than 150 economic impact studies over 20 years for such clients as The Pennsylvania State University, The Ohio State University, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Cleveland Clinic, University of Florida Shands HealthCare, the University of North Carolina Hospitals, the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the Ohio State University Medical Center.


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