Augusta's consolidated university has a nearly $2 billion economic impact on the local economy, according to a recent report.
A study released by the Selig Center for Economic Growth reported that Georgia Health Sciences and Augusta State universities, now Georgia Regents University, pumped $1.8 billion into the local economy and generated a combined 19,192 jobs in fiscal year 2012.
This is up $780 million from 2011, when the two universities reported a combined impact of $1.02 billion.
"An academic health center is a powerful economic engine," said GRU President Ricardo Azziz.
"As Georgia's fourth comprehensive research university with an aligned and integrated health system, we make a tremendous impact on the state's bottom line.
"Our biomedical and academic enterprises produce three important benefits – qualified graduates, renowned discoveries, and positive patient outcomes – for the Augusta community and our state."
The 2012 data reflects the combined impact of GRU's academic and clinical initiatives, including campuses in Albany, Savannah, Rome, and the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership in Athens. Impact for those communities is estimated at $1,107,754 in Albany, $891,343 in Savannah, $573,757 in Rome, and $22,291,568 in Athens.
The report does not include an assessment of the economic activities of Georgia Regents Medical Associates, the faculty practice group aligned with the university and health system.
The study showed that the University System of Georgia's 31 institutions made a $14.1 billion total impact on the state's economy in 2012, up $900 million from 2011; and generated nearly 139,263 full- and part-time jobs, or 3.6 percent of all jobs in Georgia.
"Even in the worst economic times in a generation or two, our colleges and universities proved to be strong pillars and drivers of the economies of their host communities," added Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, Director of the Selig Center and author of the report. "That's due to rising demand for higher education regardless of the overall economic climate."
When compared to its peers, GRU placed third in total impact behind the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech with impacts of $2.6 billion and $2.2 billion, respectively.
"I am confident that we will generate additional impact across the state as our university and health system continue to grow," Azziz said.
Read the full report here.
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