University's economic impact ranks third-highest in the state

A new study of Ohio's state universities and colleges spells out just how much impact Ohio University has on the local and state economies.

The university's total contribu tion to the state economy was $927 million in fiscal year 1996, behind only Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati for tops in Ohio, according to the study by the Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC). The IUC is a non-profit organization of representatives from Ohio's 13 public universities and two freestanding medical colleges.

As Southeastern Ohio's largest employer, Ohio University's Athens and regional campuses had a combined $180 million payroll in 1996 for 3,895 non-studen t employees. Those employees spent $102.7 million in the state and local economy, and students spent another $157.8 million.

In other findings, capital spending by the university's six campuses generated 977 jobs, and 373,840 visitors to Ohio University campuses generated at least $8.4 million in the local economies.

According to the IUC, Ohio's public universities and medical colleges had an overall economic impact of $12.4 billion on the state economy in 1996, including payroll, capital e xpenses, salaries, students, visitors and other sources -- more than nine times the $1.37 billion in tax dollars the state spent on these institutions.

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