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SUNY economic impact estimated at $20 billion

June 01, 2011

Buffalo News

ALBANY -- The state university system has an economic impact on the state of at least $20 billion, according to a new report due to be released Wednesday.

The State University of New York, poised to become a player in the state's new regional-based economic development efforts, supported 173,000 jobs and that created $460 million in state and local taxes in 2008-09, the report states.

In Western New York, SUNY's economic impact totals $3.7 billion. The report noted that one in four residents of Western New York are connected to SUNY either as students, employees or alumni.

The study, obtained by The Buffalo News and characterized as the most detailed analysis of SUNY's economic impact on the state, was conducted by the University at Buffalo Regional Institute and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at the University at Albany.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, who commissioned the study, will release its findings Wednesday at a news conference in Albany.

Zimpher said the study will help SUNY's goal to see the higher education system "become the economic engine for New York state's recovery."

The chancellor said the study's focus on 10 different regions "will help our campuses define their impact in a more consistent way."

"We're all poised to get ourselves organized regionally. I want to foster collaboration amongst our campuses. That's always been my theme," said Zimpher, who came to SUNY two years ago.

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