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New Report Quantifies UW’s Economic Impact

June 20, 2014
Man working in field
William Stump, a research scientist in UW’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, examines a field at UW’s James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Lingle. UW’s research enterprise is a significant contributor to Wyoming’s economy, a new report shows. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming receives nearly $130 million in external funding annually, creating more than 2,200 jobs and stimulating $129 million in value-added economic activity around the state, according to a new study.

The report, titled “Economic Footprint of the University of Wyoming,” quantifies economic impacts that would not occur in Wyoming but for the university’s presence -- including externally funded research support, direct expenditures by nonresident students and visitors, and spin-outs and startup businesses directly resulting from UW research.

The report also outlines the wide variety of UW activities around the state, concluding that while the university is a powerful engine supporting the state’s growth, its impacts extend far beyond its economic footprint.

“UW plays a significant role by attracting and spending money that otherwise would not flow to Wyoming, but it also adds great value to the state by providing broad access to educational opportunities and continually working with our communities to solve problems,” says Bill Gern, UW’s vice president for research and economic development. “UW’s impact on the economic development of the state is much broader than just technical economic impacts.”

The report, commissioned by the UW Office of Research and Economic Development, was written by economist Anne Alexander, associate dean and director of UW International Programs, and Roger Coupal, head of UW’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. The full report is available at

Among the findings:

-- UW’s research enterprise generates more than $78 million of added value -- on top of the direct funding of more than $96 million from sources outside Wyoming -- and which creates nearly 1,100 jobs each year, along with another $3.08 of labor income and taxes for each dollar of labor income. Added value refers to labor and proprietor income, business profits and taxes.

-- Nonresident student tuition, fees and expenditures generate more than $40 million annually in state economic activity and create nearly 1,000 jobs.

-- UW’s Agricultural Extension and Experiment Stations generate more than 40 jobs and produce nearly $2 million in added value annually.

The report also details UW’s presence around Wyoming, including: providing courses and degrees for those who can’t come to Laramie; research that advances fundamental understanding and practical solutions for business, industry and government; service to professional and community organizations; information and advice to policy makers; cultural performances and exhibitions; academic program, workshops and seminars; and access to legal services, health services and library databases.

“UW’s staff, students and faculty members view themselves as partners with our communities across Wyoming in supporting the long-term economic basis for growth, development and a rising quality of life and increased prosperity,” the report states. “What we do, in collaboration with our stakeholders around Wyoming, provides jobs, creates economic value, increases human capital and citizenship, and enhances the viability of communities for the long term and makes for a more livable Wyoming.”

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