MSU President's Newspaper Column

January 23, 2021 

Mayville State makes a significant impact on the economy

Each of the state’s college campuses is an important component of that area’s local economy. Periodically, the North Dakota University System (NDUS) conducts a study that measures the economic contribution of the university system. The most recent such study was conducted for fiscal year (FY) 2019 and released just recently. The economic impact of the NDUS on the state has risen to an estimated $5.5 billion for Fiscal Year 2019.

The state’s colleges and universities leverage $2.82 from external sources for every dollar of state appropriated funds. In addition, direct economic effects (expenditures) by the NDUS have increased from $533 million in FY1999 to $980 million in 2009 and $1.5 billion in FY2019.

A brief analysis of the economic contribution of each of the NDUS campuses is included in the report. Key economic indicators include direct effects, gross business volume, personal income, retail trade, selected tax revenues, and employment. All dollar values are presented in current year dollars. The effects of inflation have not been removed. The Consumer Price Index indicates that inflation during the 20-year period 1999-2019 was 53.5 percent.

In the report data, expenditures by Mayville State University comprise the direct impacts, or “first round effects.” Expenditures by Mayville State University were $9.4 million in FY1999 and increased steadily over the years to $26.2 million in FY2019. Expenditures increased over the 20-year period by $16.8 million as our campus has grown.

Total effects (gross business volume) associated with Mayville State University operations were estimated by applying the North Dakota Input-Output Model coefficients to total direct expenditures.

Mayville State’s total economic contribution was estimated at $28.4 million in FY1999. This grew to $79.6 million in FY2019. The sector with the largest impact was the Households Sector (i.e., personal income of area residents) for each year presented, FY1999 to FY2019.

Tax collections generated by Mayville State University in FY2019 included $613,000 in sales taxes, $386,000 in property taxes, $252,000 in personal income taxes, $123,000 in corporate profit taxes, and $180,000 in other taxes. Total tax collections generated by Mayville State University was $1.6 million.

Levels of business activity resulting from Mayville State University expenditures would support 357 secondary (indirect and induced) jobs in FY2019. These jobs are in addition to direct employment of 287 positions (excluding student jobs) at Mayville State University in FY019.

In addition to the economic contribution resulting from the institution’s expenditures, spending by students also contributes to the local economy. Direct impacts of student spending in the Mayville area were $8.8 million in FY2019. The total economic contribution of student spending was $21.8 million. Student spending was estimated to generate an additional $216,000 in tax revenue. This level of student spending would create enough business activity to support about 28 secondary (indirect and induced) jobs.

Mayville State University plays a significant role in the economic health of the local community, county, state, and region. We are proud to have been a key player in helping to bring natural gas to Traill County, something that has been a long-time goal in this area. With the university’s commitment to purchase substantial amounts of natural gas, along with agreements from other large customers, Dakota Natural Gas was given the green light to file permit applications with the state. This is a huge win for our area.

Mayville State’s request for a major capital project, installation of natural gas fueled boilers and a building to house them, is now being considered by our state legislators. Currently, we supplement our coal-fired heating system by burning fuel oil in the fall and spring, and as emergency backup.

The $1.6 million project to install natural gas burners will allow the university to eliminate its dependence on expensive fuel oil and will also give the university a back-up to the coal burners. Redundancy in heating sources for our physical plant is extremely important. In addition, we’ll be able to convert water heaters located throughout campus from electric to natural gas, which will provide substantial savings. Natural gas is a more efficient, economical, and cleaner burning product. By using natural gas at Mayville State, we will see budget savings, while helping to make this cost-saving commodity available to the businesses and individuals in our community.

Partnering with our local and greater community is of major importance to us at Mayville State University. Working together, we are stronger and have the potential to have a greater positive impact for our friends and neighbors.