What impact does the Regent enterprise have on Iowa?
The Board of Regents and its institutions benefit Iowans and the world in numerous ways.
Education, research and service
The three public universities fulfill a three-part mission of education, research, and service. Students come to the universities from all 99 Iowa counties and around the globe for a wide range of degree programs, continuing education, and other enrichment activities, while others enjoy distance education opportunities delivered via the Internet, the Iowa Communications Network, and other methods. Enrollment in credit and noncredit courses exceeds 1 million annually.
Approximately 62 percent of the students enrolled at the universities are Iowans. More than 250,000 Regent university alumni live in Iowa's 99 counties and help drive the state's economy as a highly qualified workforce of taxpayers and community leaders.
Assisting business and industry
The three universities serve and assist all types of businesses and agricultural ventures in the state. Their research parks facilitate transfer of research to business and industry and stimulate Iowa's economy. Small business and entrepreneurial centers provide seed grants, educational programs and consulting services statewide. Other centers enhance agriculture, support rural communities, help incubate emerging businesses, and accelerate technology development.
Return on investment
The three Regent universities provide a great return on public investment. The universities attract more than $1.2 billion in sponsored funding from federal, foundation and private sources. Combined, they provided $14.9 billion in added income to the state during FY 2021-22, according to an economic impact analysis report from Lightcast, a leading labor market analytics firm. That figure of $14.9 billion is equal to approximately 7.1% of the total gross product of the state. The report, which can be found here, also notes the sum total of university activity supports nearly 200,000 jobs (one out of every 10 jobs in Iowa) and returns nearly three dollars for every taxpayer dollar spent.
The universities also touch the lives of Iowans in every county with service and support. For example, Iowa State University Extension, via community-based offices statewide, provides training and skill development each year for more than 40,000 community leaders, local government officials, business owners, entrepreneurs, and volunteers. Iowans across the state make more than 1 million visits annually to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa has assisted more than 700 communities and economic development organizations in Iowa.