A new report on the California State University (CSU) system’s statewide impacts says California State University, Fresno contributes more than three-quarter billion dollars annually to the regional economy: a return of $5.43 for every state dollar invested.

The report, “Working for California: The Impact of the California State University System,” also underscores the long-lasting value of a Fresno State education, concluding that nearly $2.3 billion of earnings by alumni in the central San Joaquin Valley is attributable to their degrees.

“Working for California” was released today, May 10, by the CSU and will be presented to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, May 11.

It documents that the 23-campus CSU system generates $17 billion in economic activity directly from spending that yields nearly $1 billion in state and local taxes annually. That impact is more than $70.4 billion and nearly $5 billion in state and local taxes annually if higher alumni earnings are counted (the difference in earnings between a CSU grad and a person without a college degree).

The report also breaks out the impacts of the three Valley CSU campuses – Fresno State, California State University, Bakersfield and California State University, Stanislaus.

“In 2008-09, state appropriations totaled more than $293 million to San Joaquin Valley campuses,” says the report, “and for every dollar invested, $2.83 in regional and $4.50 in statewide spending is generated.”

The ratio rises to nearly $20 in total spending act per dollar of state investment, when the impact of enhanced earnings for CSU graduates is included.

Other Fresno State economic impact highlights:

  • Annual spending of $452 million generates a total regional impact of $484 million ($781 million statewide).
  • Fresno State’s impact sustains more than 5,700 jobs regionally and nearly 7,000 statewide.
  • Nearly $28.5 million in local and $52 million in state tax revenue flow from Fresno State’s operation.

“We are pleased to be a major contributor to the economic well-being of the region as we have been for nearly a century,” said Fresno State President John D. Welty. “Beyond the economic aspect, though, our university is a regional research hub, a major source of volunteers in community service and the principal preparer of teachers, farmers, business leaders, health-care workers, engineers and other workers in the Valley.”

“We are especially proud of what the report says about the value of a Fresno State education,” he added. “It certainly underscores the need for our Legislature to restore full funding to the CSU at this difficult time to help energize our state’s recovery.”

“Access to college is the key to better jobs, higher wages and a brighter future,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed as the report was issued. “We know that students educated at our university not only improve their own condition but that of their families and the community around them.”

Other aspects of Fresno State’s positive impact:

  • The campus is home to the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, one of the nation’s premier agriculture schools, and a major player in the CSU awarding 61 percent of the baccalaureate ag degrees in the state.
  • Fresno State reflects its region’s cultural diversity and helps the CSU account for 56 percent of bachelor’s degrees conferred of California Latinos, 49 percent of African Americans and 34 percent of Asian/Pacific Islanders.
  • The campus is a national hub of research and development activity in water technology.
  • The university is home to numerous institutions that conduct research and engage community partners on such issues as health care, obesity, economics, real estate, education and political ethics and leadership.
  • Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education and Human Development is the region’s biggest source of teachers, counselors and school administrators. The CSU awards 52 percent of California’s teaching credentials.
  • The CSU has numerous alternative energy projects up and running, including Fresno State’s 1.1 megawatt installation of parking lot shelters topped with solar panels that generates 20 percent of the campus power demand.
  • The Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship cultivates a regional awareness and appreciation of invention and business development through programs that reach from high schools deep into the business community.
  • A rich variety of cultural arts events and athletic contests bring thousands of community members to campus annually.
  • Fresno State students, staff and faculty reach out through the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning to volunteer time to meet a wide range of ongoing and emergency community needs.

For more on Fresno State’s impacts, visit http://www.calstate.edu/impact/fresno.html.

The full CSU report is available at http://www.calstate.edu/impact/.