MAJOR ECONOMIC FORCE
Arizona’s public universities are foundational to the state’s economy, producing highly qualified workers, creating thousands of jobs each year and spurring new discoveries and startup companies through the research enterprise at the universities.
Arizona’s public universities play a critical role in developing Arizona’s workforce and the enterprise system of governance as well as the board’s strategic plan are foundational to this work, leading to new knowledge creation and record-breaking results in terms of undergraduate diplomas issued and research grants as well as improvements in key measures such as student retention and graduation rates.
The board is undertaking a full-scale economic impact study to capture the broad impact of the universities on the economic vitality of Arizona with results expected in the next six months. According to data from 2015, Arizona public universities brought $11.1 billion into the state in 2015 along with 102,000 jobs. Economic impact captures not just the direct spending of the universities, staff, students and visitors, but also the indirect and induced effect of those expenditures on the local economy. This data does not account for every possible economic impact such as multiple spin-off businesses created by faculty, staff and students through their own efforts or as a result of university research.
In fulfilling their research, education and service missions, these institutions of higher learning fuel economic growth for the state and drive innovation.