Economic Impact Report 2011
Western Connecticut State University, Connecticut’s public university for high-quality fine arts and professional programs on an Arts and Sciences foundation, creates and delivers economic value for the state and regional economies by helping our students acquire skills in critical thinking, communication and problem-solving. We pride ourselves on our ability to educate knowledge workers who augment, replenish, and expand the base of intellectual and human capital that is vital to economic development.
The university’s contribution to the regional economy is multifaceted. During the most recent fiscal year, WCSU created 1,018 jobs, $123.7 million in output, and added $40.8 million in regional household income. Each dollar of state appropriations produces $2.91 in regional output. Many industries, including real estate, financial services, retail, and educational services, were able to increase output and earnings–– a result of WCSU’s role in the regional economy. Additionally, we contribute to workforce development by engaging in partnerships with local organizations to address critical workforce shortages and by assisting businesses and nonprofit organizations develop and sustain their operational, strategic and human resource goals.
Western Connecticut State University has contributed to future economic growth by awarding 5,098 degrees over the past five years. Surveys indicate that 81 percent of Western’s alumni remain in Connecticut, earning on average 1.5 times the median salaries of high school graduates.
Excellent academic programs and initiatives position the university to continue to create and to deliver economic value. Our new building for the School of Visual and Performing Arts will serve as a focal point for a myriad of cultural events that will produce monetary benefits for regional businesses. Several of our programs, such as Chemistry, Management Information Systems, Music and the doctorate in Educational Leadership enjoy national recognition. Exceptional performance such as that reflected in our nursing graduates’ 100 percent pass rate on state licensure exams is but one example of the quality of instruction that we offer.
I hope that our economic impact statement conveys our commitment to make significant and enduring contributions to the regional and state economies.
WCSU and the Regional Economy
WCSU is Danbury’s fifth-largest employer and makes a significant contribution to the economies of Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven counties. The university’s $98.4 million revenue base supports $66.5 million in direct and indirect expenditures and sets an economic cycle in motion that produces $123.7 million in output, $40.8 million in earnings and 1,018 jobs.
WCSU’s expenditures also produce benefits for the state and many local industries. Each dollar of state appropriation produces $2.91 in regional output. Many industries experience increases in output, earnings, and employment from WCSU’s expenditures, including real estate, health care, utilities, information services, retail, and educational services.
Operating expenditures account for 40 percent of WCSU’s output. University operating expenditures were $32.6 million in 2010, of which $28.3 million were spent in our four-county economic region. Operating expenditures yielded an output of $49.1 million.
The university spent approximately $4.1 million on construction-related expenditures during the past year, including outlays for design work for the new Visual and Performing Arts Center. These expenditures produced $7.8 million in output, $2.4 million in earnings, and 46 jobs.
University employees spent a portion of their $49.8 million in salaries and wages on goods and services in our four-county region, resulting in $33.1 million in output and 278 jobs.
Student and Visitor Expenditures
6,326 full- and part-time students attended WCSU in 2010 and spent approximately $17.2 million on goods and services in our four-county economic region. Approximately 275,000 visitors attended events on WCSU’s two campuses. Student expenditures and visitor expenditures produced outputs of $28.5 million and $5.3 million, respectively.
WCSU granted 5,098 degrees over the past 5 years, up 30.7 percent from the five-year period leading up to 2006. Eighty-one percent of our graduates remain in Connecticut and enter the workforce with demonstrable skills in communication, critical thinking and problem-solving, enabling them to make immediate contributions to their chosen fields of employment.
About the University
Western serves 5,000 full-time students and more than 1,500 part-time students on two campuses in Danbury, Conn. Small class size provides individualized attention; more than 85 percent of our full-time faculty holds a Ph.D. or other terminal degree.
Western’s Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership is one of only 15 doctoral programs in the country to focus on instructional leadership. In collaboration with Southern Connecticut State University, Western will be one of a handful of universities across the country to offer an Ed.D. in Nursing Education. Among one of the most popular majors, the nursing program has a close working relationship with Danbury Hospital, and our students have achieved near-perfect scores on the state licensing exam for more than four years. Our low-residency M.F.A. in Creative and Professional Writing program is the first and only low-residency program dedicated to training career writers for the contemporary marketplace.
WCSU recently celebrated the groundbreaking for a 130,000-square-foot Visual and Performing Arts Center. The building will include a 350-seat concert hall, a 350-seat theater, an art gallery, a recording studio and state-of-the-art rehearsal, classroom and studio art facilities. This new center will allow the university to better promote and grow the visual and performance arts disciplines.
The dedication of Western’s faculty has helped to inspire many student success stories. Among these are three WCSU students who have earned Fulbright awards over the past three years. These students traveled to Jamaica, France and Estonia to share and build on their knowledge.
The university’s Ancell School of Business recently received federal recertification from the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) of the National Security Agency of its important commitment to strengthen information technology security through comprehensive education and research, especially as it pertains to IT systems for critical private sector infrastructure. WCSU is the only institution in Connecticut and one of fewer than 200 institutions nationwide to gain certification for meeting one or more of the information assurance training standards established by the CNSS.