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Clarkson University Delivers $327 Million Economic Impact to Region

An updated economic analysis by the Center for Governmental Research has reported that Clarkson University provided an economic impact of more than $327 million to the North Country regional economy in 2013 through its institutional operations and jobs related to supporting student services and commercialization of research. This represents a $57 million increase in economic impact from the same parameters in a study conducted by the Center two years ago.   

An aerial view of the Clarkson University campus.Expenditures by institutions like Clarkson generate state and local tax revenues, as well as personal income tax revenue. Working with the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, the Rochester-based Center reported that independent colleges and universities generated $74.3 billion in total economic impact for New York State in 2013. Clarkson, combined with St. Lawrence University and Paul Smith’s College, contributed $679.9 million to the North Country region.  

Part of the increase in economic impact for Clarkson can also be attributed to a growth in construction spending.  To continue to attract and serve a diverse student population Clarkson invests in its infrastructure, primarily using private gifts and grants to pursue renovations and new facilities.  Clarkson spent more than $20 million on construction in 2013 as part of a larger capital projects commitment launched in 2008 to support jobs in the region while addressing priorities in its campus master plan.

“As an anchor for employment and a steady stream of more than 3,900 students who call the North Country home during their education, Clarkson is fully committed to the local and regional community, as well as fulfilling the role that non-profit higher education has in providing public good for the betterment of society,” said Kelly Chezum, vice president for external relations. “The first role of universities like Clarkson in New York’s independent sector is to educate more than 491,000 students across the state every year.”  

Last year, private colleges and universities awarded 51 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in New York, 71 percent of the master’s, and 80 percent of the doctoral degrees.
"Clarkson’s story goes beyond the data collected from this economic analysis and the tremendous impact that our students, employees, visitors and contractors have in supporting our local retail and service economy," said Clarkson President Tony Collins. "As a research university committed to the region and our employees and alumni who want to stay and make their career and family lives in the North Country, we are fully integrating research discovery, innovation and commercialization into our curriculum and outreach efforts. By encouraging growth and investment in new ideas, we are leading the development of a powerful model for the role universities can have in creating economic impact in their communities.”  

One example is Clarkson’s Shipley Center for Innovation, which serves as the home for one of New York State’s Innovation Hot Spots.  Working with regional economic development partners and research centers across the campus, Shipley staff have facilitated more than 100 new start-ups and currently has more than 350 projects in the pipeline, serving as an engine for regional economic development by engaging in the creation of new enterprises capitalizing on emerging technologies.

These commercial activities that go beyond the academic mission on campus also contribute to property taxes.  Examples where square footage is dedicated to for-profit activities include Clarkson Hall, Peyton Hall, Lewis House and Downtown Snell Hall on the downtown campus, which have portions rented to regional for-profit businesses.   In addition to contributions to support community services, the University also pays property taxes on the Clarkson Inn and the University Bookstore.

President Collins also co-chairs the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC), which in December 2014 was awarded $63.4 million for the North Country by New York State to continue its Strategic Development Plan. In the last four years, the NCREDC has been awarded more than $338 million for 291 projects in the region.

Clarkson University’s detailed economic impact data can be found at .

To learn more about economic development activities, Clarkson's outreach in promoting math and science K-12 education, research projects advancing the quality of life in the North Country or Clarkson's role in the local community, please feel free to contact Vice President for External Relations Kelly Chezum at

The CICU news release can be found at

Photo caption: An aerial view of the Clarkson University campus.

[A photograph for media use is available at .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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