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Clarkson University Delivers $343 Million Economic Impact to Regions

An updated economic analysis by the Center for Governmental Research, released yesterday, has reported that Clarkson University provided an economic impact of $322 million to the North Country regional economy and $21.1 million to the Capital District in 2015 through its institutional operations and jobs related to supporting student services and commercialization of research.

An aerial view of Clarkson University's Potsdam 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 $79.6 billion in total economic impact for New York State in 2015.

Clarkson, combined with St. Lawrence University and Paul Smith's College of Arts and Sciences, contributed $676 million to the North Country region.

In 2014-15, private colleges and universities awarded 51 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in New York, 72 percent of the master’s, and 79 percent of the doctoral and first professional degrees degrees.

“While our primary economic impact is in the North Country, our recent expansions into the Capital Region and Hudson Valley are indicative of our evolving statewide influence,” said Clarkson President Tony Collins. “As a private, nationally-ranked research university and innovation incubator, our expanding corridor of academic, research and community influence stretches from Potsdam to New York City. We focus on bringing research, thought leadership and innovation together, to create tangible commercial value, entrepreneurial growth, and to benefit society at large.”

“With powerful purpose and intentions to achieve results, Clarkson University and its students actively engage in public -private partnerships to advance economic development opportunities and programs that make our communities great places to live, learn, work and visit,” said Vice President for External Relations Kelly O. Chezum. "Joining our peers in higher education’s private sector that in 2015 educated 491,628 students, Clarkson is fully committed to fulfilling its role to provide public good in our local and regional communities, as well as New York State.”

One example of public -private partnerships 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 140 new start-ups and currently have more than 380 projects in the pipeline, serving as an engine for regional economic development by engaging in the creation of new enterprises capitalizing on emerging technologies.

After five years of operation, the incubator is seeing successes, including Delta Water, which moved to the St. Lawrence County IDA building in Potsdam. The Hot Spot alone contributed $5.3 million in raised capital and directly created or retained 76 jobs in 2015-2016.

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 and Lewis House on the downtown campus, which have portions rented to regional for-profit businesses. Damon Hall, a vacant building for the last 10 years is being converted into a light manufacturing incubator and is also currently planned to be added back onto the tax rolls when it opens in 2017. 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 was awarded $61.4 million for the North Country by New York State this month to continue its Strategic Development Plan. Through six rounds, the North Country Regional Economic Development Council was awarded $484.6 million for 450 projects in the region.

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

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

Photo captions:

aerial2.jpg: An aerial view of Clarkson University's Potsdam campus.

clarkson-crc.jpg: Clarkson's Capital Region Campus in Schenectady.

[Photographs for media use are available at and]

CICU news release:

Independent Colleges and Universities Generate $79.6 Billion in Economic Activity for New York State

Albany, NY – Private, not-for-profit colleges and universities collectively generated $79.6 billion in economic activity for New York state in 2015, an increase of $5.3 billion since 2013. The finding is reported in the most recent biennial economic impact analysis released today by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) in New York and conducted by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR).

Private, not-for-profit colleges and universities continue to be a strong economic force in New York, having contributed $79.6 billion to the state’s economy in 2015. This significant total represents the sum of three primary areas of spending – institutional impact, academic medical centers and student and visitor spending. Institutional impact represents research, construction, instruction, salaries and spillover spending; academic medical centers include patient revenue, the estimated benefits of residents and fellows and other indirect and induced efforts of the center; and students and visitors spending has a significant impact on discretionary spending at restaurants, retailers and lodging facilities.

There are more than 100 private, not-for-profit colleges and universities in New York state collectively educating more than 491,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Thirty-nine percent of students enrolled in college in New York state attend a private, not-for-profit institution, an 11 percent increase since 2003. The Independent Sector confers 51 percent of bachelor’s degrees and 72 percent of master’s degrees, proving the private colleges and universities are choice destinations for students.

“During a period when national higher education enrollment declined two percent, New York’s independent colleges and universities kept total enrollment stable, demonstrating the strength of New York higher education where it counts—in the market place,” said CGR’s chief economist, Kent Gardner, who led the study. “The entire sector employs about 200,000 directly—both on campus and through construction activity—plus slightly more in spillover employment. Higher education remains a mainstay of the state’s economy.”

The study further breaks down the statewide financial impact into ten regions, each aligning with the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) of New York state:

Capital District - $4.3 billion

Central New York - $3.2 billion

Finger Lakes - $5.5 billion

Long Island - $3.4 billion

Mid-Hudson - $4.8 billion

Mohawk Valley - $686 million

New York City - $50 billion

North Country - $676 million

Southern Tier - $5.3 billion

Western New York - $1.4 billion

The report also highlights the total payroll impact of the Independent Sector, which exceeds $28 billion for 406,300 direct, indirect and induced jobs, a $1.6 billion increase over the 2013 study. As private employers, these institutions’ employees pay more than $2 billion in state taxes.

“Private, not-for-profit colleges and universities are one of New York’s strongest economic engines and are a strong and committed partner of the state,” said Laura L. Anglin, CICU’s president.

For complete details of this report, including regional impact, please visit

About The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York
Founded in 1956, The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) in New York represents the chief executives of New York's 100+ independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities on issues of public policy. Member colleges compose the largest private sector of higher education in the world and confer most of the bachelor’s degrees (51%), master’s degrees (72%), and doctoral and first-professional degrees (79%) earned in New York state.

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

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