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UM System has $6.5B impact on Missouri: report

The University of Missouri (UM) System has had a $6.5 billion economic impact on the state, leaders of the school announced Thursday. 

“Each of our four universities in Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, and St. Louis have provided teaching, research, outreach, and economic development excellence to Missourians for more than two centuries,” UM President Mun Choi said in a statement. “We are committed to enhancing the overall economic vitality of the state, and this study shows the University of Missouri System continues to deliver on its mission to the betterment of Missouri.” 

The study was conducted by Tripp Umbach, a firm that has completed more than 500 economic impact studies globally, from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

The firm considered factors such as capital expenditures, operational expenditures, employee figures, payroll and benefits, taxes paid to local and state governments, visitation numbers for campus events, student figures, and proportions of students who live on and off-campus.

“For every state dollar invested in the University of Missouri System, Missouri taxpayers saw $15.49 in economic benefits in 2021,” said Darryl Chatman, chair of the UM Board of Curators. “Investing in our universities not only continues to produce tomorrow’s leaders, educate our workforce and engage in innovative research to solve some of our biggest challenges, it’s also a good investment in our state’s economy.” 

Their findings include: 

  • $6.5 billion generated in economic impact by the UM System and its four universities, MU Extension, athletics, and academic medicine 
  • More than 69,000 direct and indirect jobs, both full-time and part-time  
  • Approximately $366.5 million generated in state and local taxes 
  • $1.5 billion economic impact generated by the UM System research enterprise 
  • $2.4 billion generated in economic impact by UM System academic medicine 
  • $376.8 million generated in economic impact by athletics at the four UM universities 

The figures in the study were measured by direct, indirect, and induced operational spending, capital spending, payroll, visitor spending, and student spending in Missouri.

“More than half of our living alumni remain in Missouri after graduation and put their education to use in every sector of our state’s economy,” said Todd Graves, Board of Curators member and chair of the Academic, Student Affairs, Research and Economic Development Committee. “One in 29 Missouri workers is a graduate of one of our four universities, and each enhances the economic strength of our state.”  

The UM School System includes the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and the Missouri University of Science and Technology

“The impact our universities and statewide programs have on Missourians goes beyond economics,” Marshall Stewart, chief engagement officer for UM System and vice chancellor for Extension and Engagement at MU Extension, said. “Our universities and their programs have a presence in every single Missouri county, serving the entire state to increase economic opportunity, increase educational access and promote the health and wellbeing of all Missourians.”