He won't get an argument from this blogger.
A single taxpayer's dollar spent on the University of Massachusetts results in $8 earned by the state's economy, Jack Wilson, president of the five-school system, said yesterday during a visit to SouthCoast. The equation for the direct economic impact of the school's five campuses reads like this: $435 million legislative annual appropriation plus $90 million in other state funding equals $4.3 billion fed into the commonwealth each year.
"Invest in a university and it pays off big time."
Best of all, UMASS spreads the
"Ninety percent of the research done outside of Route 128 is done by the University of Massachusetts," he said. "A lot of times people don't pay attention to the area beyond Route 128. UMass does."
The sad thing is that, coming from the perspective of a UMASS Dartmouth student, the system is woefully underfunded. Prices have skyrocketed to attend this school, yet class sizes are way up and the buildings are continuing to deteriorate. UMASS Dartmouth doesn't have enough classrooms, full-time professors or even a legitimate theater that can house most events comfortably, with room for all those who would want to attend. Just ask students who wanted to see the gubernatorial debate held here before the last election - only a select few were allowed in.
I can't count the amount of times I've heard demeaning remarks directed toward the UMASS system. Governors and the entire State Legislature have shunned and slashed us in the past. Other colleges in this state have done everything in their power to keep the UMASS brandname down, such as single-handedly killing a UMASS Dartmouth School of Law. Despite all that, the system has survived. Despite all that, more people continue to attend and want to attend.
As President Wilson has testified, UMASS is one of the best investments this state can make. The state gets $8 for every dollar invested in it - a profit line that would send ExxonMobile stocks through the roof. Even though this state's fiscal situation is precarious, it has to find the money to make sure the UMASS system can quickly begin to shine. It's the key to rebuilding the middle class and attracting new workers (and the tax dollars that come with them) to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.