Study shows impact of colleges and universities

WARNER – The State Chamber Research Foundation released on Jan. 22, “The Economic Role of Oklahoma’s Public Colleges and Universities.” This higher education study examines the economic output and impact our public colleges and universities have in Oklahoma.

State Chamber Research Foundation Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Lepard said Oklahoma’s community colleges and universities act as an anchor in their cities, towns and regions as they contribute to the stability of their communities. The study shows that increased higher education is an underlying source of economic growth, both in the U.S. and internationally, she said.

“The impact of Oklahoma’s colleges and universities goes far beyond their campus boundaries,” said State Chamber of Oklahoma President and CEO Fred Morgan.

Morgan said Oklahoma’s colleges and universities drive local economies and serve as important employers in both the cities and the state. As Oklahoma strives to become a top 10 business-friendly state, we should be grateful to have them as a vital part of our state’s business community, he said.

The study further demonstrates that Connors State College plays a vigorous role in the economic impact to the community by returning $7.50 for every dollar invested which results in a gross economic output of $44.5 million dollars annually.

“This report not only reveals the importance of higher education to Oklahoma’s economy, but also the impact that Connors State College has on our region,” said Dr. Ron Ramming, Connors State College president. “Every state dollar appropriated to Connors is multiplied 7.5 times. What a great investment.”

The full report, which includes the profile for Connors State College and for other individual colleges and universities within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, can be accessed online here.