What starts here at the University of Georgia transforms lives and makes our state an even better place to live and work. Our annual economic impact on the state we serve is an astounding $5.7 billion, and we are committed to taking that figure to an even higher level.
For the past several years, economist Jeffrey Dorfman and his colleagues have conducted a comprehensive study that quantifies the impact of the University’s teaching, research and service activities across the state. The study measures variables such as the increase in earnings that graduates of the university’s schools and colleges receive, the economic impact generated by externally funded research activity, and the creation of business and jobs that result from the university’s public service and outreach.
UGA is a leader in higher education that this year moved up two spots to 16th in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of national public universities. We remain committed to value and are ranked 10th in The New York Times College Access Index.
To meet the demands of the 21st century knowledge economy while helping reduce the overall cost of education for students, this year we launched an ambitious program that gives students more than 130 opportunities to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years or less. Through the Double Dawgs program, students take rigorous, graduate-level coursework during the final year of their undergraduate studies. In doing so, they save time and money while giving themselves a competitive advantage after graduation.
The increased earnings that our graduates receive generate economic impact, as does the research that our faculty members conduct. Externally funded research activity at UGA has climbed 37 percent over the past three years to reach $197 million in fiscal year 2017. Those external dollars generate economic activity across the state and lay the foundation for new crop varieties, vaccines, software and other inventions that generate licensing and royalty revenue. The economic impact of UGA’s research enterprise is magnified even further by the more than 160 startup companies that are based on UGA inventions.
As Georgia’s flagship land-grant institution, service is the foundation of all that we do. Our public service and outreach activities include programs and services offered through UGA Extension, our statewide network of 17 Small Business Development Center offices and UGA’s Archway Partnership program, which leverages the expertise our faculty to address community identified needs. Two Archway Partnership communities—Hartwell/Hart County and Griffin/Spalding County—are piloting the University’s new CyberArch program, which helps businesses and communities identify ways to safeguard against potentially devastating cyberattacks.
Collectively, UGA’s instructional, research and service activities have a $5.7 billion impact on Georgia—and that conservative estimate doesn’t include the life-changing but nearly impossible to measure impacts of programs such as 4-H.
Our message to the more than 10 million people who call Georgia home is simple: We’re here for you, and we have been since our founding in 1785 as the birthplace of public higher education in America.