VOLUME 33, NUMBER 23 THURSDAY, April 4, 2002

Study sets UB's impact at $1.28 billion
University leverages state's investment by more than 4 times to benefit local economy

send this article to a friend

News Services Director

The university leverages state funding by more than four times to the benefit of Western New York, with an annual economic impact on the region of more than $1.25 billion, according to a new economic impact study prepared by UB based on methods used nationally to evaluate the economic impact of universities.

The total impact on New York State, the study notes, is $31 million higher, or a total of $1,283,378,119.

Those figures are in addition to the $288.6 million in state support for UB operations.

The study notes that SUNY's flagship institution is a magnet annually attracting $171.2 million in out-of-state revenues—including $118.7 million in federal funds for research. Much of that amount, it adds, would "be lost to other states if UB did not exist."

In terms of research expenditures, UB annually expends $187.7 million in funds from federal and state agencies, foundations, industrial research partners and institutional resources, according to data for the 1999–2000 fiscal year.

In addition to its direct economic impact, UB—which ranks in the top third of the nation's 154 major public research universities—is "a vital economic engine for both the Western New York region and upstate New York" that provides several long-term benefits to New York State's economy, the report emphasizes.

"The university offers an excellent education at an affordable price, producing highly educated citizens and future leaders, many of whom remain in New York State to form the backbone of its professional workforce," it adds.

"UB also fosters the development of new technology, products and businesses; encourages public-service programs throughout Western New York and New York State, and supports a wide range of research projects that benefit people around the world."

The university, which offers the widest range of academic programs of any college or university in New York or New England, has emerged as a key player as the Buffalo-Niagara region positions itself for economic revitalization in the high-tech, knowledge-intensive, global economy.

UB is the lead academic partner in the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics, which is expected to create thousands of jobs and become a mainstay of the upstate New York economy over the next five years. The report notes that UB is credited in large part for the region ranking fourth among America's top 50 metropolitan areas in degrees granted in science and engineering and 14th in the nation in academic research-and-development funding.

The report was prepared by the office of Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi.

President William R. Greiner said the university is "pleased and proud to present this report, which outlines the considerable contributions that UB makes to the economic vitality of the Buffalo-Niagara region and to our great state.

"Each year," he added, "UB generates over a billion dollars in economic activity in Western New York alone. That's an impressive figure, but as this report makes clear, the depth and breadth of our overall economic impact on the region and state is even more significant.

"With the enormous intellectual capital and technological know-how we bring to the table, as well as our ability to create and to nurture regional, national and international partnerships, UB is leading the way to an economic transformation for Western New York and New York State. Every day at UB we are generating research and refining technologies that will support economies of the 21st century," Greiner said. "This is a crucial part of our mission as the state's largest and most comprehensive public research university, and one we take very seriously, as this report demonstrates."

Looking to the next five years, Capaldi noted that expanding UB's graduate programs and increasing sponsored-research dollars—both to be accomplished through the hiring of hundreds of new faculty members—will increase greatly UB's impact on the regional and state economy.

"Research is a major engine of economic development," Capaldi added. "Each $1 of research funding produces $3 in economic impact to the community; each $1 million of research and development spending produces just over 29 jobs.

"UB's intellectual property," she said, "holds great promise as the foundation for Western New York's 'New Economy'—a knowledge-intensive, global economy built upon the brilliant ideas and inventions of university researchers."

Highlights of the report include:

  • UB, which in the 2000-01 fiscal year received 33.2 percent of its total revenues from New York State, "would rank second after National Fuel Gas when its total revenues are compared to the revenues of the top public companies in Western New York. This ranking places UB ahead of such companies as M&T Bank, Columbus McKinnon Corp., Gibraltar Steel Corporation and Moog."
  • UB is one of Western New York's largest employers, ranking fifth in full-time employees behind the State of New York, the federal government, Erie County and the Buffalo Public Schools. For 2000–01, UB recorded 5,421 full-time faculty, professional staff, librarians and classified service staff and 7,255 part-time faculty, staff and student employees. In addition, the university was responsible for an estimated 5,610 jobs created as the result of its research and development efforts.
  • Expenditures by UB in fiscal year 2000-01 totaled nearly $900 million and included $54 million in capital improvements and construction projects.
  • Of the $231.6 million spent by UB in 2000-01 for direct purchases, an estimated 73 percent, or approximately $170 million, were made within New York State.
  • In addition to $168.9 million in revenue to the university in the form of tuition and fees, campus housing and board contracts, and purchases at campus bookstores, UB undergraduate and graduate students in 2000-01 spent an estimated $164.9 million off campus for housing, food, transportation, clothing, health services, books and supplies.
  • The total impact on the Western New York economy generated by visitors to UB is estimated at $12.1 million annually.
  • Sixty-three percent of UB's 166,765 living alumni remain in New York State. In Erie County alone, UB graduates account for 81.9 percent of attorneys, 92.6 percent of dentists, 67.5 percent of pharmacists and 28 percent of physicians.
  • Since 1996–97, there have been 340 invention disclosures by UB faculty and staff; 102 U.S. patents have been awarded and 201 license agreements have been entered with businesses throughout the United States. UB has entered 19 licenses with companies in New York, including licenses to three new business enterprises started with UB inventions.
  • UB faculty, staff and students volunteer and serve on a multitude of public service, educational, cultural and community programs and projects that directly contribute to the quality of life in Western New York and New York State. UB's annual State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA), the fund-raising campaign to benefit the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, raises approximately $750,000 per year—the most from any employee group in Western New York.



Front Page | Top Stories | Briefly
Electronic Highways | Mail | Obituaries | Q&A | Sports
Exhibits, Notices, Jobs
| Events | Current Issue | Comments? | Archives
Search | UB Home | UB News Services | UB Toda