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Report puts UM System economic impact at $5.4 billion annual


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A newly released report puts the economic impact the University of Missouri System has on the Show-Me State at $5.4 billion annually with more than 61,000 jobs — directly and indirectly — supported.

The study also found that more than $244 million in state and local revenue taxes are collected because of the university.

“Given that our annual appropriations from the state are approximately $400 million each year, this means that taxpayers are receiving a return on their investment of 13.5 to 1, an impressive number,” said Mark McIntosh, UM System vice president of Research and Economic Development. “A vast number of our graduates are staying in Missouri and putting their education to the test in our workforce while our faculty across the four campuses are conducting research that addresses grand challenges facing our state and nation. This significant combination of workforce development and innovative discoveries in our labs is impacting thousands of Missourians every day.”

The study, conducted by Tripp Umbach with data provided by UM Systems, determined that between the four campuses, MU Extension, and MU Health Care there is a direct economic impact in Missouri of $2.1 billion and an indirect impact of $3.3 billion, totally $5.4 billion in total. 

The University of Missouri-Columbia generated more than $3.9 billion — $1.6 billion directly and $2.3 billion indirectly — in economic impact while directly supporting 28,687 full-time and part-time jobs.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City generated more than $523 million — $200 million directly and $323 million indirectly — in economic impact while directly supporting 3,841 full-time and part-time jobs.

Missouri University of Science and Technology generated more than $404 million — $162 million directly and $242 million billion indirectly — in economic impact while directly supporting 3,419 full-time and part-time jobs.

The University of Missouri-St. Louis generated more than $363 million — $155 million directly and $208 million billion indirectly — in economic impact while directly supporting 2,872 full-time and part-time jobs.

Paul Umbach, President and CEO of Tripp Umbach, calls the figures very accurate. When comparing the analysis to other colleges in other states, Umbach classified the return per student as better than average and the return per tax-payer dollar as in the middle. 

“We are dedicated to the welfare and success of the citizens of Missouri,” UM President Mun Choi said. “Our original mission was to educate the future leaders of the state and provide new knowledge that would open new opportunities and significantly alter the economic prosperity of the state for the better. This study proves that the University of Missouri System, its four campuses, MU Extension, and MU Health Care continue to be a powerful driving force for the future of the state.”

The nearly 1,000 baccalaureate degrees and 5,800 advanced degrees (i.e., masters, doctoral, professional) awarded in 206-2017 equates to $1.9 billion in future value over the next 40 years, according to the study. Pew Research Center found that the median yearly income gap between high school and college graduates is around $17,500.

“Beyond dollars, we also have an impact as we work and interact with Missourians across the state every day,” said Marshall Stewart, vice chancellor for Extension and Engagement at the University of Missouri-Columbia. “I have spent time with people from every county in the state, and our extension faculty and staff who live and work throughout the state are committed to sharing knowledge with their neighbors. These everyday interactions are further proof that we are committed to the success of everyone, everywhere, in every county.”

Tripp Umbach staff used several sources of data for the study, including capital expenditures, operational expenditures, number of employees and students, conferences hosted, payroll and benefits, and taxes paid to local and state governments. The study did not review the economic impact of MU’s athletics department. A previous study completed by a team of MBA faculty and students found that MU athletics contributed approximately $294 million to the local and state economies.

“The University of Missouri System is an extremely important economic driver in the state of Missouri,” said Umbach. “Looking at the system’s impact on Missouri’s local and regional economies, it is clear that the investment in higher education is a necessity for the economic and social vitality of Missouri and its people.”

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