Lindenwood University-Belleville recently conducted an economic and social impact study to explore the effect that its students, employees, facilities, and services have had on the surrounding community. The four-year impact is estimated at nearly a billion dollars.
One of the areas this study examined was variable outlays, which includes expenditures on items such as personnel, utilities, insurance, and plant operation. Through its rapid job creation over the years, the university has brought in new residents to Belleville and generated extra cash flow for surrounding businesses. Of the 138 full- and part-time employees at Lindenwood Belleville, 75 jobs were added from 2011-2014, with the average salary for faculty and staff totaling nearly $60,000. Another 16 full-time faculty and staff positions will be added beginning July 2014. The total economic impact of Lindenwood University-Belleville’s variable outlays for the same four-year period totals $539,341,000.
The university has also invested heavily in capital outlays, or expenditures constructing and renovating buildings, infrastructure, and furnishings. This spending has resulted in increased tax values for nearby properties and has provided cultural and recreational activities for the community, namely through performances at the Lindenwood Auditorium and games at the football stadium and Lynx Arena on campus. The total economic impact of Lindenwood University-Belleville’s capital outlays from 2011- 2014 totals $223,258,402.
With a student body of nearly 2,000 in the 2013-14 academic year alone, Lindenwood Belleville student spending in the community has contributed significantly to business growth and economic improvement in the area. Students spend money locally for transportation, entertainment, food, clothing, and other miscellaneous personal items. The economic impact of Lindenwood student spending from 2011-2014 totals $220,992,120.
The economic impact of Lindenwood University-Belleville is over $328 million in the last year alone, and the estimated impact of Lindenwood University-Belleville is nearly $1 billion over the last four years.
“With the expected expansion of the campus’ physical plant, new degrees, and athletic programs, as well as the rising student population that is expected to grow by one third in the next few years, I anticipate the university’s economic impact to eventually reach half a billion dollars per year,” said Dr. Jerry Bladdick, President of Lindenwood Belleville.
In addition to boosting the local economy, the university has brought several innovative programs to Belleville. One such program is “Cops for Credit,” which offers police officers and individuals an opportunity to obtain a university degree by patrolling the university campus. This program has reduced campus crime, while at the same time strengthening relationships with several law enforcement departments throughout the area.
Dr. Dan Frazier, professor of business at Lindenwood Belleville, led the economic impact study.
“The power of an education is a life changed forever,” said Frazier. “The creation of jobs changes families and directions. But the power of a university in a community is almost incalculable. It changes lives, families, and the community for generations! Lindenwood University is proud to be a part of Belleville, and it is our honor and privilege to serve this great community.”
“When the partnership was formed between Lindenwood and the City of Belleville, many of us were optimistic about the impact Lindenwood would have on the community,” said Mark Kern, St. Clair County Board Chairman. “Today, that optimistic outlook has become a reality, not only for the City of Belleville, but for all of Southwestern Illinois.”