Study: OSU Has Nearly $2 Billion Impact On State's Economy

Friday, October 27th 2006, 3:17 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma State University has nearly $2 billion in economic impact on the state, a study released Friday says.

With 8,000 full-time employees, second in the state only to Wal-Mart if compared to private employers, and nearly $120 million generated in local and state tax revenue, the OSU system has an estimated annual impact of $1.89 billion on Oklahoma's economy.

It also accounts for more than 31,000 jobs and produces $13 in economic output for every dollar it gets from the state.

``It's a very good yardstick,'' said OSU President David J. Schmidly. ``In most organizations, if you're talking about a five or seven-to-one return, you're doing very well.''

The study was presented Friday in Tulsa during a meeting of the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. OSU paid $23,500 for the study.

It was conducted by Austin, Texas-based Angelou Economics, an economic development consulting firm with clients in Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida, among others.

In addition to information provided by the university, such as payroll and capital spending, the firm used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis and factored in property, sales and income tax rates for its report.

Angelou weighed the $241 million in state appropriations OSU received this year against the overall impact to arrive at the 13:1 return on investment, said Daniel Kah, the firm's research director.

The study also found that nearly 60 percent of OSU graduates stay in Oklahoma and will add $2.5 billion to the state's economy over the course of their careers.

School officials hope to capitalize on the results of the study by mailing about 3,000 copies to key alumni and state lawmakers in efforts to raise OSU's profile and leverage its position in the business community.

``An investment in education is not just money down the drain,'' said Regent Calvin Anthony. ``There's an economic benefit to recycling those dollars through our system.''