Economic Impact Report
MSU Denver: Colorado’s economic engine
A Message from Janine Davidson, Ph.D., MSU Denver President
Sept. 17, 2020
Dear MSU Denver community,
Anchor Institutions endure because they are the economic engines – and beating hearts – of the cities they serve. For 55 years, Metropolitan State University of Denver has been an Anchor Institution for Colorado’s beloved capital city, serving as a proving ground for its future leaders, the educational hub for its workforce pipeline and the harbinger of opportunity for Coloradans who aspire to achieve the American dream.
Although the value of a college degree from MSU Denver may be obvious to the 95,000 alumni who have benefited from a real-world education, what the new Economic Impact Report makes clear is that the University’s influence extends far beyond benefits for its graduates. The graphic below highlights a few of the most impressive numbers, including the University’s overall economic impact, jobs supported and taxes generated.
These numbers are a testament to what so many Coloradans already know – that an investment in MSU Denver is an investment in the long-term economic success of our state and the vibrancy of our diverse communities. More than 96% of MSU Denver students come from Colorado, and 80% of our alumni remain here after graduation. We also serve the most diverse undergraduate-student population in the state and educate the most first-generation students. That’s why I continue to say that we are the University best-positioned to help our state close its higher-education equity gap.
This has been a difficult year for everyone in Colorado as we grapple with a trifecta of challenges: the global pandemic and resulting impacts on the economy, as well as the circumstances that precipitated the historic anti-racist movement. I commend our state leaders for doing their best to balance the budget amid these circumstances. For higher education, however, the pandemic has only exacerbated a decades-long trend of disinvestment in public universities. This year, the higher-ed budget was cut by 58%. While some of those funds were recouped via the CARES Act, the cut speaks to the long-term threat facing universities in a state that ranks 48th nationally in public higher-education funding.
I hope you will join me in sharing the story laid out so clearly in this Economic Impact Report: Colorado’s public universities and colleges bring immense value to the state economy, as well as its communities and people. Together, we can ensure the future of Anchor Institutions such as MSU Denver.
Janine Davidson, Ph.D.