Economic Impact Report Shows U of A Feeds $2.2 Billion into State Economy
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – As the state’s flagship institution with service to the state as a core part of its mission, the University of Arkansas has helped grow Arkansas’ economy since 1871.
In 2018, the U of A’s economic impact grew to $2.2 billion, more than tripling from $725 million in 2009. The university feeds Arkansas’ economy through operations, construction, development and transfer of new technology to the marketplace, alumni employment as well as through student and visitor commerce. And as the university has grown over the years, so has its support for the state.
“The U of A stimulates the economy in many ways through our operations, our graduates and our work to improve lives through education, research and discovery, and service to Arkansas,” said Chancellor Joe Steinmetz. “We are proud to be Arkansas’ flagship and I am excited to see impact of our mission continue to grow.”
The Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam M. Walton College of Business analyzed the university’s economic impact in 2009 and 2014. Its newest report, released today, provides an updated view of the effects the university has on the state and region through its unique land-grant mission of teaching, research and service to Arkansas.
“The U of A works every day to build our state through opportunity,” said Stacy Leeds, vice chancellor for Economic Development. “We work with industry to find solutions, efficiencies and to develop new technology. We graduate students who feed the economy as leaders in the workforce and we grow entrepreneurs who build new companies that create more jobs for Arkansas.”
Return on Investment
State and federal funding that supports the university is used to produce outcomes that exceed the costs. For example, The Economic Impact Report shows that in 2018, the $166.8 million in state appropriations to the U of A were leveraged 13.56 times — for each dollar of state funding, the university pumps $13.56 back into the state economy.
University operations and associated economic activities contributed more than $89.5 million in state and local taxes through income taxes, business taxes, property taxes and other related taxes. Additionally, student spending contributed $453.5 million to the economy.
The U of A has 77,183 alumni in Arkansas, earning $2.7 billion in wages. Those alumni paid $130 million in state income taxes, $65 million in state sales taxes and $12 million in county sales taxes. More than 82 percent of the 2018 graduating class had jobs or were accepted to graduate school and their average starting salary was $51,997.
The U of A’s research expenditures, entrepreneurial and technology transfer programs also grew, improving lives through discovery and creating new jobs through business growth and commercialization of new products. The U of A received 54 invention disclosures and patented 13 new discoveries in 2017 alone.
But that is just part of the story.
Learn more about the U of A’s economic impact to Arkansas and read the executive summary and full report at uark.edu/about/economic-impact.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
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