By Michael Sandoval | Special to Colorado Watchdog
BOULDER — How much impact does Colorado’s flagship
university and its other three campuses have on the state’s economic health?
According to a new report offered by the Business Research Division at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business in Boulder, the estimated contribution to the state’s economy came in at $5.3 billion in 2011, down slightly from previous years’ estimates nearing $6 billion.
Using a new methodology that is more “accurate” as well as the “most comprehensive ever,” the BRD team studied the economic footprint of each campus and the spending, both directly and indirectly, that occurs through the system’s payments to faculty in the form of salaries and benefits, student spending, and capital construction.
Combined that economic activity alone represented more that $1.7 billion dollars statewide, with a large concentration of spending at the CU Boulder campus.
The report also pointed to the nearly $800 million in awards given to the school, including 68 percent of total FY 2011 awards and 78 percent of research grants originating from federal funding. According to the authors, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Commerce were responsible for a large portion of the federal awards.
The CU system received $181.6 million from the state for FY2011.