by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President
The following article will appear in the Valley City Times Record the week of November 26, 2012.
Recently, a study commissioned by the North Dakota University System (NDUS) estimated the overall economic impact of all eleven NDUS campuses. The total economic impact during the most recent year available of fiscal year 2011 (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011) by the eleven System campuses was $4.4 billion.
The direct and indirect economic impact the NDUS generates across the state is overwhelmingly positive. As the authors of the study note, "Institutions of higher education have an economic effect in their respective areas and across the state as those institutions acquire inputs, purchase services, and provide for payroll and employment at both the local and state level." This is true throughout North Dakota, and is certainly true right here in the Valley City region with Valley City State University.
During fiscal year 2011, the overall economic impact of Valley City State University was estimated to be $77.3 million. This impact has increased by nearly 100 percent during the past twelve years, when the impact was approximately $39.3 million in 1999. This overall $77.3 million impact by VCSU during 2011 is based on a variety of both direct and secondary economic effects including: the direct spending of students; the impact of the overall payroll; various construction and physical projects; utility and service expenditures; secondary employment; tax revenues; state general fund appropriations; and non-general fund and auxiliary revenues.
Direct expenditures by Valley City State University alone amounted to $26.3 million during 2011. Additionally, the direct impact of VCSU student spending in the Valley City area was estimated at $8.8 million.
VCSU students play a vital role in adding to the local economy through their spending habits and purchasing power. Additionally, the hundreds of jobs at VCSU result in a significant payroll for our region representing a critical force for the local economy. Likewise, the individuals and companies who are vendors to the campus and supply products and services benefit due to the spending and consumption of the University. The additional traffic brought by campus visitors is also significant. Numerous individuals attend VCSU events such as athletic contests, musical performances, plays, Homecoming activities, Graduations, and new student move-in days. These important guests spend time and money in our community while they are here at VCSU activities, thus furthering the success of our local economy.
Clearly, this study demonstrates the overall combined direct and indirect impact of students, employees, and overall expenditures by VCSU each year provide a tremendous benefit for Valley City and our region. This $77.3 million economic impact is yet another strong example of the win-win relationship between Valley City State University and the Valley City & Barnes County areas.
The "Economic Impact of the NDUS in 2011" study was completed by NDSU's Agribusiness & Applied Economics department, and more information about the study can be found here: http://www.ndus.edu/news/detail.asp?newsID=164