UB Pumps $1.7 Billion Into the Economy

Report projects university's future impact, including the creation of thousands of new jobs

Release Date: January 7, 2009 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo pumped $1.7 billion into the New York State and Western New York economies in fiscal year 2006-07, a figure that is expected to more than double to $3.6 billion by 2023-24, according to a new economic impact study prepared by the UB Regional Institute.

The report provides data on UB's current economic impact, as well as the most detailed and accurate information to date on how that impact will grow as the university achieves the goals of UB 2020, its strategic plan.

The study was prepared by policy analysts in the UB Regional Institute, who used sophisticated economic-impact modeling tools to process and analyze data gathered from departments throughout UB.

"UB continues to have a dramatic impact on the economies of the City of Buffalo, the Western New York region and New York State as a whole," said Marsha S. Henderson, UB vice president for external affairs.

The $1.7 billion figure, up from $1.5 billion in the previous year, reflects goods and services purchased by the university, as well as by UB faculty, staff, students and campus visitors. The lion's share of that total, about $1.6 billion, was spent in Erie and Niagara counties.

"Yet the university's impact goes far beyond this major dollar figure," she said. "As a research-intensive university, UB creates innovation and new technologies, key ingredients in the growth of the knowledge economy that will determine success in the 21st century. And our impact will grow. Once we achieve the university's strategic plan, our economic impact will be even greater, boosting the quality of life for Western New Yorkers."

According to the report's projections, by the time UB's strategic plan has been fully implemented in 2023-24, the university's economic impact will more than double to $3.6 billion.

By then, UB will be a much larger university, enrolling approximately 40,000 students, about 12,000 more than it now does. UB also will hire an additional 2,400 employees.

UB-related entities, such as the Research Foundation, the UB Foundation and the clinical practice plans, will hire about 6,880 additional workers.

"These new students and new jobs represent tangible evidence of economic growth that will benefit Western New Yorkers in very real and noticeable ways," said Henderson.

In 2006-07, the City of Buffalo alone saw fully half of the university's impact -- $821 million. That number will jump, Henderson said, as UB realizes the major goals of its strategic plan.

"For example, the new Downtown Campus will bring to downtown Buffalo the five schools in UB's Academic Health Center -- Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Nursing, Public Health and Health Professions, Dental Medicine, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, bringing a major economic boost, with the influx of an estimated 13,000 UB students and employees, who will now be working and socializing downtown."

The shifting of other professional schools to the UB South (Main Street) Campus will similarly benefit areas near that campus, she said.

The report notes that a comparatively small percentage of UB's annual revenue, 12 percent, comes from tuition, which at $4,350 per year for in-state students is significantly lower than at other public research universities, such as the University of Texas at Austin ($8,090) and the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities ($10,634).

In 2006-07, UB's 27,823 enrolled students spent an estimated $218 million off-campus on housing, food, transportation and other items, or about $7,850 per student. That spending resulted in a $279 million impact on the state economy, with 94 percent occurring in Erie and Niagara counties, and one-third in the City of Buffalo.

Fifty-five percent of these students are attracted to Western New York from outside the region.

In 2006-07, UB generated $1.2 billion in revenue, with $309 million consisting of contracts, grants and gifts, primarily for research.

In addition to the dollars UB generates, the university is a rich source of research and development innovation that, in turn, resulted in more than 50 new patents and 17 spin-off companies in the past few years. These patents and companies create new products and services that improve the lives of others.

UB also attracted 549,000 visitors to its sporting events, public lectures, conferences, commencement ceremonies, campus open houses and other attractions. Off-campus, these visitors spent nearly $28 million on hotels, food, transportation and other items.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Ellen Goldbaum
News Content Manager
Tel: 716-645-4605