16 February 2012
KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo helps drive the state’s economy to the tune of $52.1 million each year, according to the results of an economic impact study released today, Feb. 16.
Well known as a provider of higher education in north central Indiana, the campus’s impact is much further reaching, not only in dollars spent, but also in the value of cultural experiences and volunteer services provided by IU Kokomo’s employees and students.
“IU Kokomo is a significant contributor. We will continue to be leaders and facilitators for regional transformation,” said IU Kokomo Chancellor Michael Harris. “We hope, now, that our economic impact is recognized, and that, in return, others will support us during times when government support for higher education is being reduced significantly.
“This will allow us to continue to provide a world-class education and economic growth to the region. It is our hope the entire region will rally behind us.”
IU President Michael McRobbie unveiled the results of the report at a press conference on the IUPUI campus, which also shows that IU and IU Health generate a return of $24.91 for every dollar of state taxpayer support. This is more than double the national average for universities and the second-highest return ever for the dozens of universities studied by Tripp Umbach, the firm that conducted the research for IU.
The study measures direct impact through not only salaries and benefits, but spending by faculty, staff and students, as well as indirect impact as those who sell goods and services to the university re-spend that revenue.
It also measures the impact of volunteerism and community service by the university’s employees. Harris said the study reflects the regional transformation IU Kokomo has set as one of its goals.
“We impact north central Indiana through our graduates, who stay in the region and work and make a contribution,” he continued, “with faculty and staff salaries and our 3,200 students and their spending in the community, and the many hours of volunteer service we provide.”
IU Kokomo provides more than $3.4 million in charitable donations and volunteers service by employees and students each year.
Harris noted the campus is creating new programs to meet the needs of the region, including the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree recently approved, which will prepare graduates for jobs in graphic arts, photography and other fields. With record enrollments for the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters, Harris said the university’s impact would continue to grow.
“We are an engine for job creation. We’re adding new programs in an intentional way, to stay current and relevant and meet the needs of north central Indiana,” he said.
The campus also improves the quality of life for the region, he said, with art shows and cultural events such as concerts in the newly renovated Havens Auditorium. Plans are also in the works to add a new wellness and fitness facility to the Kelley Student Center, and to join the NAIA and expand team sports opportunities.
Harris hopes the community will respond by supporting the university, recognizing its importance not just in providing educational opportunities, but also in regional transformation.
“I appreciate the facts of this report and am glad we have this opportunity to very clearly demonstrate to the community our economic impact, in addition to our role of providing higher education to residents of north central Indiana,” Harris said. “This reinforces my belief we can transform the region into an economy of innovation and an economy of knowledge.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.