UH-Manoa does its share


POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2009

If the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus were a business, it would rank above agriculture and legal services in its contribution to the state's economy, the UH Economic Research Organization estimates in a new report released today.




UH-Manoa 2007 economic impact by the numbers:

        » $1.296 billion - total UH-Manoa spending

        » $1.076 billion - amount spent in Hawaii

        » $299 million - state taxpayer general fund spending at UH-Manoa

        » $997 million - spending generated by the $299 million in state funds

        » $105 million - in state tax revenue



Each taxpayer dollar spent at UH-Manoa generates:

        » $6.34 in business sales

        » $3.21 in employee earnings

        » $.35 in state tax revenue

        » Every million dollars in state tax money spent at UH-Manoa pays for 73 jobs.



Breakdown of UH Manoa economic impact:

        » Education: $651,948,274

        » Research: $208,881,441

        » Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii: $16,550,121

        » UH Foundation: $29,671,625

        » Student Spending: $327,886,917

        » Visitor Spending: $61,223,193

        Total: $1,296,161,572

Source: UH Economic Research Organization




UHERO estimates UH-Manoa generated nearly $1.3 billion in spending in 2007, representing 1.9 percent of state's total economic output of $101 billion and 2.3 percent of the Hawaii's estimated gross domestic product.

The amount is double the economic output of agriculture, estimated at 0.95 percent, and also above legal services, 0.87 percent of total output.

The report was commissioned last spring, before the economic downturn, and is the first time economists have looked just at UH-Manoa's contribution to the state, rather than the economic impact of the entire 10-campus UH system, which includes UH-Hilo, UH-West Oahu and the community colleges.

“;We're a research institution, and we have a different mission than community colleges and other campuses,”; said UH-Manoa Vice Chancellor for Administration Kathy Cutshaw, who commissioned the $55,000 study.

The UHERO study estimates UH-Manoa generated $208.88 million in research expenditures, $651.85 million in spending on its educational mission and $327.89 million in spending by students.

A study conducted last year by UH-Hilo estimated the economic impact of all 10 UH campuses at $1.66 billion.

Kim Burnett, who conducted the study, said UH-Manoa generates more spending than the other campuses because the campus is able to attract federal and other money for research.

The report also differs from previous studies because it tried to estimate actual spending by students, rather than use figures that estimate the minimum needed to pay for a college education.

The UHERO report, using a student survey, estimated the average student spends about $18,500 a year on expenses other than tuition. The amount includes $5,300 on rent or mortgages, $2,000 for food and beverage, $1,500 on transportation, $500 on entertainment and between $500 and $700 on cell phones.

Taxpayers accounted for $299 million of UH's expenditures in 2007. The report estimates that every tax dollar spent at UH-Manoa generates $6.34 in business sales, $3.21 in employee earnings and 35 cents of state taxes.

The report comes as the Legislature is considering cuts to public higher-education budgets at UH-Manoa and other campuses, and Cutshaw says the report was not intended as a lobbying tool and was originally supposed to be finished at the end of December.

“;We wanted to look and see that the University of Hawaii at Manoa was indeed contributing to the state and a benefit to the state, according to our mission,”; she said.

Still, Cutshaw admits, “;It is a tool to market our value.”;