Dr. E. Joseph Savoie discusses the many ways that UL impacts the Acadiana & Louisiana economies.
At its essence a university is, as Cardinal John Henry Newman noted, a "place for the communication and circulation of thought." It is also a place of countless opportunities to improve the human condition. Those contributions are beyond measure.
At the same time, a university is a significant force in the realm of commerce. Its financial influence has value and that worth can be calculated.
A 2009 study, for instance, shows that the University of Louisiana had a total spending impact alone in Louisiana of more than $750 million in 2008. Because of its presence, the university sustained about 7,800 non-university jobs.
In addition, UL's economic development centers were responsible for $1.2 billion in increased revenues for their clients. Its research centers reported over $51 million in revenues.
The university's presence is felt in many sectors of the local, regional and state economies. Consider, for instance, that about 2,000 men and women receive paychecks from UL. They spend their earnings with local businesses and companies; their wages filter through financial institutions.
The university produces well-educated graduates that business and industry need in a globally competitive marketplace.
UL is a major consumer, too. It buys an amazing array of goods and services, due to the breadth of its needs. It builds multimillion-dollar facilities that require architects, construction workers and skilled laborers, as well as building materials.
The university attracted about 1.2 million visitors in 2008 who spent money on food, lodging and entertainment.
With more than 16,000 students, the University of Louisiana is essentially a small city within a city. In fact, if it were a city, it would rank as the 17th largest in Louisiana, according to U.S. Census data. If it were a private business, it would be the largest employer in Lafayette Parish.
Just through its day-to-day operations, UL keeps substantial amounts of money moving and that flow of currency is essential for a healthy economy. Since the Oil Bust of the 1980s, the University of Louisiana has been dedicated to supporting business and industry.
UL remains committed to using its resources to continue to contribute to the stability and future growth of the Acadiana and Louisiana economies.