Iowa Wesleyan University, founded in 1842 as Iowa’s first co-educational institution of higher learning, is the oldest of its type west of the Mississippi River. The university had recently completed its five-year strategic plan and wanted to determine the impact of its initiatives on the regional economy of Southeast Iowa.
To determine Iowa Wesleyan’s 2015-2016 economic contribution to a 16-county region of Southeast Iowa, Hanover Research employed a regional input-output model to estimate the economic impact of the university’s operations on the area. The analysis considered factors like the university’s operating and capital expenses, alumni earnings potential, spending by its outof-area students, and its direct, indirect, and induced impact on the local economy.
Because of Hanover’s insights into the university’s economic impact, Iowa Wesleyan:
- Projects that it will rank among the top 25 colleges in the Midwest by 2025 due in large part to the economic health and competitiveness of its community
- Can quantify its positive $55.1M economic impact on the region to local employers and lawmakers
- Determined its nursing program provides significant medical savings to the community
“Global competition is increasingly regional in nature, and rural regions with comprehensive regional universities are uniquely advantaged. Beyond the obvious economic impacts this study highlights, Iowa Wesleyan University is building the human, social and cultural capital of this region, and is poised to enhance these unique contributions to regional competitiveness. This region would be wise to assure these benefits are acknowledged and supported.”
—Charles W. Fluharty; Iowa Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and President and CEO of the Rural Policy Research Institute