Higher education and business support each other.
One of the findings of our recent economic and community impact study provides evidence of the strong relationship between business and academia. In particular, the University of Louisiana System is eight universities strong in driving Louisiana’s economy by extending necessary professional services, resources and support that would otherwise be unavailable to businesses across the state.
The symbiotic relationship between higher education and business proves essential to the success of each. While universities supply both services and an educated workforce for business, businesses provide universities with important research opportunities and partnerships supporting the creation of new ideas and technology.
UL System universities support at least 188 research centers and service programs, including 28 economic development programs. They range from conducting cutting-edge research to performing cost-saving services and business support functions. Combined, last year these programs created or sustained 26,300 jobs, generated or saved $3 billion in business revenue, stimulated $132 million investment dollars and provided $108 million in direct cost-saving services.
And, while higher education does its best to support business, the business community has proven that the relationship is a reciprocal one as evidenced in this year’s legislative session. I would like to personally thank the many chambers of commerce, groups such as Blueprint Louisiana and businesses such as The Shaw Group that stood up for higher education. These groups affirmed that investing in colleges and universities should be a state priority if Louisiana wants to progress.
The UL System is committed to sustaining these partnerships throughout the state. Our eight universities continue every day to find ways that we can all work together to efficiently and effectively make a better Louisiana.
President, University of Louisiana System