Million Economic Impact: JSU Moves Region Forward
Dr. Bill Fielding
By Sherry Kughn
JSU News Bureau
During 2003-04, Jacksonville State University exerted a robust economic
impact of $325.4 million on Calhoun and Etowah counties, according to
the university's latest economic impact study. Spending by the university
and its students, faculty, and staff totaled $132.8 million in 2004,
which economists say translates into an impact of $325.4 million due
to a ripple effect. Financial experts say JSU's spending has a multiplier
effect of 2.45, which represents the number of times the money "turns
over" in the local economy.
JSU President William
A. Meehan said, "This report shows JSU is a strong economic engine that
moves northeast Alabama forward. JSU provides a quality academic program
that trains the region's workforce, but the institution also does much
more: it fuels the entire local economy because it supplies a significant
payroll and attracts students who spend."
Dr. William T. Fielding,
dean of the College of Commerce and Business Administration, oversaw
the latest study, which updated the original study conducted in 1985-86.
Included in the total figure of $132.8 million was an impact on county
and city governments of $14.8 million by JSU's students, faculty, and
staff in money spent on real estate taxes, sales taxes, and other spending.
Also included was a $143 million influence on area financial institutions,
which are able to increase their lending ability because of the large
reserves that JSU provides.
JSU’s impact on
local business property was $58.5 million -- $32.2 million on real property
and $26.3 million on local business inventories, all of which serves
the university, the students, faculty, and staff.
JSU’s current student
body numbers 8,930, its faculty and staff members number 861, and the
university creates 7,091 indirect jobs, according to the study.
“These results are
an understatement of the overall economic impact of JSU,” said Dr. Fielding.
“Not included is the impact of JSU retirees who remain in the area,
the several religious organizations that provide ministerial and other
services to students, nor the visitors who attend the cultural and athletic
events and purchase local goods and services.”
Also, not included
in the study was the impact of the spending of employees related to
the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and the Sodexho food services.
Dr. Fielding thanked
several people for assistance in the preparation of the study, which
will be used in many ways by the university and other entities throughout
the area. He thanked, Mr. Pat W. Shaddix, director of the Center for
Economic Development (CED), Mr. Willard Butterworth, program coordinator
of the CED and Business Research, Ms. Allyson Barker, comptroller of
JSU, the superintendents of education and governmental officials, and
the faculty, staff, and students at JSU who completed questionnaires
for the study.
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