UL-Lafayette had a statewide economic impact of $379 million in FY-15, according to a study by the New York-based consulting firm Appleseed. University president Dr. Joseph Savoie says the college offers about a 7 to 1 return on investment for the state.
“For every $1 that the state spends on the university, we generate about $6.83. I think it’s indicative of the value of colleges and universities throughout the state,” Savoie said.
Savoie hopes this will help higher education leaders make the case for increased state funding during difficult budget times. He says the university contributes to the economy in a variety of ways, from employing nearly two thousand people to buying local.
“We invested about $56 million in construction projects. Well that directly supported over 400 jobs,” Savoie said, “We spend about $40 million on goods and services. That supported another 285 jobs.”
Savoie notes UL-Lafayette’s support of the francophone and creole culture in Louisiana. The report also found community service work performed by students and faculty totaled more than 332,000 hours, which is valued at more than $7 million. But he says it’s all about giving back.
“It’s to give these students a sense of community responsibility and help build their citizenship. You can put a price on that, and you can put a value on that,” Savoie said, “but more importantly it’s the value for the students.”
University, student, and visitor spending supported more than 5,500 jobs and had an overall economic output of $492 million in Lafayette Parish.