Impact on Michigan
Like any great public research university, Wayne State’s three most easily recognized contributions to the life of its home state are an educated, informed workforce; the creation and application of new knowledge; and direct, practical services to the broader community. Through programs, partnerships, the fruits of its research and the talents of its alumni, Wayne State University plays a significant and increasingly influential role in the educational, social, cultural and economic life of Michigan.
The university’s specific contributions include:
- The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies Wayne State as RU/ VH (Research University, Very High research activity), a distinction held by only 3.6 percent of institutions of higher education in the United States. WSU ranks among the nation’s top 60 public universities for research expenditures ($226 million), according to The National Science Foundation. Much of Wayne State’s research originates in its acclaimed School of Medicine, the nation’s largest single-campus medical school.
- Wayne State is a leader in the nanosciences, the study of matter on a molecular scale. The university’s work in this field has almost limitless potential for new knowledge and therapies for health problems from vision loss and hearing disabilities to Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
- Wayne State is home to the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Perinatology Research Branch, an internationally known source of groundbreaking scientific investigation into maternal and child health and one of only a few intramural branches located outside NIH’s Maryland campus.
- TechTown, the university’s research and technology park, is stimulating the creation of new businesses and jobs in Midtown Detroit with the help of a community of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, service providers and corporate partners. The park’s signature building, TechOne, has 42 tenants and a list of companies waiting to come online as space is developed. TechTown’s major tenant, NextEnergy, is a non-profit corporation founded to enable the commercialization of energy technologies that positively contribute to economic competitiveness, energy security, and the environment. NextEnergy is charged to accelerate research, development and manufacturing of alternative energy technologies to advance the Alternative Energy Technology industry in Michigan.
- Ground was broken in 2007 for the College of Engineering’s new high-tech research facility, the Marvin I. Danto Engineering Development Center, which will house space for development of alternative fuel technologies and for laboratories dedicated to advanced propulsion, chemical engineering and more.
- Funded by an $18.5 million research contract from the National Institutes of Health, the National Children’s Study will monitor more than 100,000 children nationally from before birth to age 21. In Michigan, researchers will recruit and monitor approximately 1,000 participants in Wayne County in the initial phase of the program. Michigan State University will lead Michigan’s role in the project, which is believed to be the most ambitious children’s health study of its kind in the nation. Project collaborators include MSU, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Department of Community Health, and Wayne County and city of Detroit health departments.
- Wayne State’s School of Social Work has launched The Center for Social Work Practice and Policy Research for the study of high-need areas including violence, criminal and juvenile justice, child welfare, services for older adults, family programs and social and community development. While the center will focus on Detroit and Southeast Michigan, its About WSU 5 research findings will be disseminated nationally and beyond.
- Wayne State is a partner in the University Research Corridor (URC), with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. The URC is an alliance designed to leverage the intellectual capital of the state’s three public research universities to transform, strengthen and diversify the state’s economy. URC institutions encourage regional economic development through invention, innovation and technology transfer, by educating a work force prepared for the high-tech knowledge economy, and by attracting good brains and profitable businesses to Michigan.
The University Research Corridor partners have allied to communicate to the business community, researchers and students, policymakers and other stakeholders the vital role the three universities have played, and will play, in renewing the state’s economy. In an era of global competition and severe economic challenges, research universities serve as economic engines offering Michigan and the United States strategic advantages through sophisticated science, technology, math and engineering education.
Our three institutions together draw $1.3 billion in federal academic research dollars to Michigan, 95 percent of the total coming into the state. Over the past five years, we have announced an average of one new invention every day, and collectively these discoveries have led to more than 500 license agreements for new technologies and systems. Detroit News columnist Dan Howes once wrote our three universities together offer “the closest thing Michigan has to Silicon Valley — an intellectual powerhouse.”
Each year, we produce more than 26,000 graduates, including 3,800 engineers, 1,300 PhDs, 1,400 MBAs, more than 1,000 doctors and nurses and 54 percent of the science and engineering graduates.
- More than 75 percent of Wayne State University’s 220,000 alumni live in Michigan, providing a diverse and skilled talent pool for employers.
- About 30 percent of practicing physicians in Michigan, and 43 percent of practicing physicians in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties received all or part of their medical training at Wayne State.
- 75 percent of the Law School’s graduates live and work in Michigan; 18 percent of judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals and six judges serving in US district courts are Wayne State law alumni.
Wayne State University makes a significant contribution to the economic vitality of Michigan. Public and private resources invested in the university yield economic benefits to the state through increased employment, local expenditures, gross state product and tax revenues. The university annually contributes more than $1 billion to the economy of the sevencounty Southeast Michigan metroplex. Contributing factors include the following:
- WSU’s non-payroll expenditures for teaching, operations and research have a combined net economic benefit of $327 million in the seven counties of Southeastern Michigan, and $261 million on the tri-county region of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
- Other significant economic benefits from WSU in the seven-county region are generated by expenditures by students ($386 million), faculty and staff ($337 million), and visitors ($25 million).
- Surveys show that new graduates spend more than $93 million per year within the first two years of graduation.
- Direct state taxes paid on earnings due to WSU expenditures in the area amount to $90 M per year.
- Total net new tax revenue to the state of Michigan as a direct result of Wayne State University is approximately $140 million per year. This equals a return of 64 cents on the dollar on the $218 million appropriated to Wayne State in 2008.