An'Engine of Economic Growth'

An 'Engine of Economic Growth'

Report shows positive impact of BC, other higher ed institutions, on Greater Boston area

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

Boston College and the region's seven other research universities contribute a $7.4 billion boost to the economy of Greater Boston, according to a report released earlier this month by the schools.

The detailed report on the universities' economic and social impact on the region, titled "Engines of Economic Growth," includes economic data from Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

"Boston College has a very special place in this group," said Director of Community Affairs Jean McKeigue, a member of the committee that prepared the economic report. "We have a place not just as a research university, but also as an institution that has a very definite impact on the future of our community." [See sidebar]

McKeigue said that the service contributions of BC community members enhance the University's economic impact. "From the students who volunteer in the neighborhoods, to the faculty and staff who are in the community working with citizens to form solutions to our problems, to the alumni who are officials of companies and government agencies, we are helping to provide actual life-changing initiatives."

In the year 2000 alone, the study found that in addition to the $7.4 billion economic impact the eight universities provided:

-Work for 48,750 university employees and other workers in the region, who pay millions of dollars in federal, state and local taxes;

-A talent pool of more than 31,900 graduates, many of whom stay in Boston;

-Innovative research that resulted in 264 patents, 280 commercial licenses of technology and 41 start-up companies;

-Continuing education of 25,000 non-degree students;

-Numerous programs to help local K-12 schools and individual students;

-Many community cultural events, such as concerts, plays, lectures and athletic events;

-Community improvements through construction of housing, streets and increases in environmental benefits.

Boston College contributes nearly $1 billion to the region's overall economic health. The University has more than 3,000 full-time employees and approximately 14,000 students.

In addition to this major economic effect, Boston College sponsors dozens of research and community involvement programs that support local residents and businesses. Among these are the Center for Retirement Research, one of two such policy development centers in the United States; extensive outreach programs with local schools; and academic research programs, such as the 2002 Nanotube Seminar, which brought scientists and scholars from all over the world to campus for a week-long convention.

"Collectively, our eight institutions are developers and employers of talent, incubators of business and industry, storehouses of cultural resources, research centers, purchasers, economic magnets and community partners committed to our state and local governments," said the leaders of the eight Boston-area schools in a written introduction to the report.

 

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