- Associated Press - Sunday, February 15, 2015

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The University of Arkansas has released a report that claims the university had an economic impact on state and local economies of $1.2 billion in 2014, up 66 percent from the previous year.

The report was compiled by the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. The university released the report at a news conference Tuesday on the Fayetteville campus.

“Perhaps the most impressive finding is the return-on-investment that Arkansas taxpayers get from the state’s investment,” Kathy Deck, director of the CBER and principal author of the study, said in a statement. “The state’s appropriation to the university in 2014 was $173.8 million. Arkansas is basically getting back almost $7 for every dollar the state Legislature invests in the University of Arkansas.”

The last time the CBER provided an economic impact report for the university was in 2009.

“This report gives us empirical data showing the University of Arkansas’ considerable economic impact on the state of Arkansas, showing that the institution is a force for improving the lives of our citizens, UA Chancellor G. David Gearhart told Arkansas Business (https://bit.ly/1CesW7l ).

“The researchers have found a direct correlation between our growth and how that growth positively impacts Arkansas,” he said.

The report says:

-During 2014, spending by students contributed $307.4 million to the economy in northwest Arkansas. Spending by campus visitors added another $35.8 million. Researchers studied student spending through a survey of a representative sample of the student body - 2,600 of the 26,200 enrolled in the fall.

-UA alumni contribute $54.9 million in sales and use taxes to state and county governments and $114.8 million in state income taxes. 

-University alumni living in Arkansas earn $2.3 billion in wages each year.

-In northwest Arkansas, the UA’s economic impact is estimated at $932.3 million in 2014. That includes $907.2 million in recurring annual economic impact and $25 million in one-time construction impacts. 

-Annual business operations of the university contribute $522.2 million to the northwest Arkansas economy; student spending contributes $307.4 million.

-Visitors to Razorback athletic events, the UA admissions office and students contributed $35.8 million in spending in 2014 and the economic impact generated by university-affiliated volunteers is $3.8 million.

-The operations of tenants in the Arkansas Research and Technology Park add $38 million to the regional economy.

-The university had a total payroll of $317.9 million. 


Information from: Arkansas Business, https://www.arkansasbusiness.com/

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