With a new year underway, I’m reminded again how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such talented faculty and staff who are working every day to serve our students and the state. I’m excited about what’s ahead for us in 2016 and beyond.
Most of us know intuitively that the University of Nebraska is deeply connected to the economic success and social well-being of the state. We see the proof daily: in the 50,000 students whose lives are transformed by an NU education each year, in the patients treated at our medical facilities, in the new businesses and technologies created because of our innovations, in the agricultural advances made possible by our research.
Even so, it’s been some time since we’ve attempted to quantify just how significant and far-reaching the impact of the entire university is. We recently engaged an independent consultant to conduct such an assessment for us, and I’m pleased to share the results with you today.
Let me say first that no report, no data point, no single number could fully capture the transformative effect your work has on the lives of our students and the strength of our communities. The role of the state’s only public university in opening new opportunities for young people, building vibrant and economically strong communities, and enriching the cultural lives of our citizens goes far beyond the numbers. But I think this analysis provides further evidence that the University of Nebraska is making good use of the resources Nebraskans invest in us.
The consultant, Tripp Umbach, a national leader in economic impact assessments, found that:
• The teaching, research and outreach activities of the University of Nebraska have an annual impact of $3.9 billion on the state’s economy – meaning our collective activities add almost $11 million to the economy every day.
• 1 of every 36 jobs in Nebraska is supported by the university, demonstrating our role in sustaining a highly skilled workforce for the state.
• 1 of every 7 working-age Nebraskans holds an NU degree. The 10,000 students who graduate from our campuses each year grow the state’s earning power by $50 million annually, putting them in a stronger position to support their families and contribute to their communities.
• NU research has a $385 million annual economic impact in Nebraska, supporting 2,500 jobs. Of course, beyond its quantitative effect, our research is advancing knowledge in critical areas like cancer and Ebola treatment, water and agriculture, national security and defense, early childhood education, rural development, engineering and information technology, and many others.
I invite you to visit www.nebraska.edu/economic-contribution for more information on the University of Nebraska’s impact on the state, including the full Tripp Umbach report. We can all be proud of the vital role we play in Nebraska’s success. Thank you for all you do for the University of Nebraska and the people of our state.