Special To The Enterprise
HARROGATE, TENN. — A recent study examining the economic impact of Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) found that the University added $95 million dollars and almost 2,000 jobs to the local economy in fiscal year 2010-2011.
The study prepared by renowned economist Dr. Gerald Doeksen and his colleagues at the National Center for Rural Health Works at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa examined four primary areas of economic impact: college operations, construction, student non-university spending and visitor spending. The report examined the impact of these activities both in Tennessee and in the tri-state region, LMU’s primary service area. Located at historic Cumberland Gap National Park, where Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia converge, LMUs primary service area is defined as three counties in Virginia (Lee, Scott and Wise), 10 counties in Kentucky (Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Laurel, Jackson, McCreary, Rockcastle and Whitley), and 14 counties in Tennessee (Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Knox, Scott, Sevier, Sullivan and Union).
The economic impact of LMU on the state of Tennessee is estimated at $95 million for fiscal year 2010-2011. When comparing the state economic impact to the regional economic impact, the impact of LMU on the tri-state region is only slightly less than that on the state of Tennessee, at $94.09 million. The study’s authors found that this illustrates that most of the spending activity associated with LMU occurs in the school’s primary service region. The study estimates that LMU brought 1,962 jobs and $36.5 million in retail sales to the tri-state region in fiscal year 2010-2011.
“Lincoln Memorial University is pleased to release the second study of this nature,” LMU President B. James Dawson said. “Comparing the two reports really illustrates how in such a short period of time LMU has increased its influence on the region.”
Doeksen and his colleagues completed an initial economic impact study on LMU four years ago. That study measured LMU’s economic impact on the state of Tennessee at nearly $68 million. A comparison shows that the University has increased its impact by approximately $27 million. The uptick can be attributed to continued enrollment growth, the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine reaching maturity (students in all four years of study), the addition of the Physician Assistant Program and LMU-Duncan School of Law, as well as several building projects on the main campus in Harrogate.
LMU was chartered in 1897 as a living memorial to the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, with the mission of providing educational opportunities to the often underserved people of Appalachia. Since its founding, LMU has successfully addressed the challenges and goals of changing times with increased enrollment through expansion efforts in academic disciplines and at extended sites. The educational contribution of the University has long been clear. Often overlooked, however, is the economic impact that a university like LMU and its associated colleges has on the state and the surrounding region.
Doeksen, currently the Director of the National Center for Rural Health Works, has 40 years’ experience working with economic impact models. During his career, Doeksen has been published more than 50 times regarding impact analysis and has been involved with over 300 economic impact studies. Doeksen founded the National Center for Rural Health Works more than 10 years ago to train professionals across the country to measure the impact of health services on rural economies. The Center is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.
The full text of the economic impact study is available online at www.LMUnet.edu.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.