In an effort to convince the state legislature to curtail the budget cuts to education, the University of Louisiana Systems released an economic impact study of all its universities. GSU President Horace Judson discussed the economic impact study on Monday.According to the study, GSU has an impact of $264 million on the economy. The bulk of the economic impact comes from GSU students, who spend $71 million annually in the Northern Louisiana area. The second-largest impact comes from faculty and staff who contribute $50 million annually. The study also showed that economic spending related to GSU contributed to the creation of 2,778 non-university jobs.
Judson said that events at GSU attract around 189,000 people annually. The Bayou Classic, an annual rival game between Southern University and GSU, brings in $200 million to the state. The study also showed that the McConnell Art Collection drew 6,000 people over a period of a month.
Visitors to the university have a $36 million impact on the state, and $12 million of that impact came directly from visitor spending for events and activities.
But there is more to GSU than spending, Judson said. He said that students, faculty, and staff contribute approximately 147,000 volunteer hours to the community. Students volunteered 101,000 hours, while the faculty and staff served 46,500 hours.
To keep up with its commitment to service-learning, GSU is the first ULS school to establish an office of Service-Learning. Starting next semester, there will be a service-learning requirement of 160 hours added to GSU’s General Education Program.
As one of his campaign promises, Governor Bobby Jindal has made strengthening the La. work force a top priority of his administration. GSU has done that, according to the study.
Over the past 50 years, GSU has awarded 33,763 degrees. Over the past 10 years, there have been 7,843 graduates from GSU that include 6,352 bachelor’s degrees, 1,247 master’s degrees, 450 associate’s degrees, and 75 doctoral degrees. The study states that GSU graduates have added about $453 million to the Louisiana economy over the last 10 years.
With the Performing Arts Center set to open soon and the completion of the Eddie G. Robinson Museum, GSU will have a much larger economic impact in the coming years.
“Grambling State University is a good investment,” he said. “GSU is an investment to the quality of life.”
The economic impact study for GSU can be viewed in its entirety at www.gram.edu/economic_impact.
Next week, The Gramblinite will detail how the budget cuts affect the university.