The state economy, Oklahoma citizenry and individual Oklahomans are benefiting significantly from the state’s public colleges and universities, including East Central University, according to a new report from the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice.
The report, “Oklahoma Public Higher Education: Economic and Social Impacts,” was prepared for the State Chamber Research Foundation and provides an in-depth analysis of the economic and functional impacts generated by the expenditures, education, research and outreach of Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities.
According to the report, ECU generated operational expenditures of $102 million in the fiscal year of 2011, with $35 million of this coming from state funding. With a total regional economic (output) impact of $139 million, the estimated return on investment was $3.91 for every $1.00 of state funding.
“Ada is incredibly fortunate to have East Central University. There are many communities that would love to have a higher educational institution of ECU’s caliber,” said Sarah Jane Johnson, senior vice president of the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce and Ada Jobs Foundation. “Between the jobs that are provided on campus and the pool of young professionals that graduate from ECU, the economic impact made on Ada is immeasurable.”
“Having a skilled and well-educated workforce is critical to our state’s economic success,” said State Chamber President Fred Morgan. “This report reinforces the important impact our state’s colleges and universities have on our economy and ability to create and retain jobs and investment in our state.”
The report shows that the expenditures of the Oklahoma public higher education system generate $9.2 billion in economic output impacts in the state and support more than 85,000 Oklahoma jobs. The study also reveals that, on average, bachelor’s degree holders earn nearly twice as much and contribute twice the tax revenue as individuals whose education concluded at the high school graduate level.