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NEWS

Oct. 19, 2004

RSU Economic Impact Expected To Top $40 Million in 2004

In 2004, Rogers State University is projected to supply an economic impact of $40.5 million and provide more than 1,000 jobs in northeastern Oklahoma.

These economic impacts are seen directly and indirectly through household expenditures, business investments and government expenditures. The university's projected 2004 expenditures are $26.9 million, which includes operating expenses, capital investments, and expenditures from federal grants and contracts.

Since gaining accreditation as a four-year university in 2000, RSU has experienced enrollment growth of 44 percent, the highest rate of any college or university in Oklahoma. This fall, 3,778 students are enrolled in classes at RSU.

"I find this information to be encouraging because it shows that not only is Rogers State University providing educational opportunities for area citizens, but also that RSU providing value to the communities we serve through its significant economic impact," said RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley.

The economic impact report was prepared by RSU's Center for Economic and Community Development, which was established to foster economic development and address the educational needs of business and industry in northeastern Oklahoma. Information used in the report was obtained by surveying students and employees, as well as examining existing governmental data and reports.

Taking a closer look at the household expenditures resulting from the university's economic impact shows the most significant categories were food and beverages ($4.9 million), housing ($3 million), computers and furniture ($2 million) and automotive ($1.6 million).

In examining RSU's employment impact, the university employs more than 330 full-time equivalent faculty, staff and support personnel. In addition, economic activities generated by RSU indirectly results in the creation of 740 jobs to support that activity. These jobs were seen most strongly in government services, construction, retail trades, manufacturing, and finance/insurance/real estate sectors, according to the report.

Another significant finding showed that more than 90 percent of RSU graduates are employed in Oklahoma one year after graduation, compared with a state average of 82 percent for all Oklahoma universities.

The report points out that by increasing the number of college-educated graduates in the state, these graduates will enrich Oklahoma through their greater earning power when compared to workers without college educations.

"Oklahoma's investment in RSU yields a high return by producing more college-educated graduates who choose to remain in the state for employment," Wiley said.

For more information about RSU's economic impact on northeastern Oklahoma, call Dr. Ray Brown at the Center for Economic and Community Development at (918) 343-7533.