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Economic Report

West Virginia University, and its affiliates, pump $40 into the state economy for every dollar the state legislature appropriates, a new study released Friday shows.

The study of WVU, its hospitals and medical services, shows that the entire enterprise generates $8.28 billion in business volume for the state economy from the $206.4 million in state appropriations in Fiscal 2009.

“WVU is an economic powerhouse for the state,” President James P. Clements told the Board of Governors Friday in presenting the study. “We are very proud of WVU’s significant contribution to the state’s economy, driving jobs, business activity and tax revenues.”

The study, available at, says WVU and its affiliates provide 45,500 jobs, $1.8 billion in employee compensation and pay $69 million in assorted state taxes.

“WVU is a major generator of economic income in West Virginia,” says the study, conducted by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research in the University’s College of Business and Economics.

The study looked at WVU’s main campus in Morgantown, as well as divisional campuses WVU Institute of Technology in Montgomery and Potomac State in Keyser, the WVU Research Corp., WVU Alumni Association and WVU Foundation. Also included were WVU Physicians of Charleston and WVU’s United Health Associates as well as the hospitals that make up United Health System (City Hospital in Martinsburg and Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, United Hospital Center in Clarksburg and WVU Hospitals in Morgantown, anchored by Ruby Memorial Hospital.)


Previous studies, including a recent one done by the Bureau for the Higher Education Policy Commission, have excluded the medical affiliates. That study, released in mid-May, still showed WVU with a $21-to-$1 return on state investment, up from $19-to-$1 in FY 2007.

“This broader study takes into account WVU’s distinct mission as one of only about a dozen schools in the country that are land-grant, doctoral research universities with comprehensive medical schools,” Clements said. “Those are significant distinguishing characteristics of West Virginia University and cannot be ignored.”

BBER director Dr. Tom S. Witt noted that even at $40-to-$1, the study underestimates WVU’s full economic impact because it does not take into account money spent by students, the presence of other businesses drawn by the University which would not otherwise locate in the state, or the impact of visitors, including the hundreds of thousands who attend athletic and cultural events. Those are not included because of limited, reliable data, he said.



CONTACT: Dr. Tom S. Witt, WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research

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