Regional comprehensive universities have a specific institutional role to play on the landscape of higher education. A core part of the mission of institutions like the University of South Carolina Upstate’s is a responsibility to partner with, and work to improve, our surrounding communities. Dubbed the USC Upstate metropolitan mission, we are committed to engaging with our community partners on multiple levels.
Our beautiful 330-acre campus has a major impact on our local Spartanburg community. As an extension of our academic mission, the University hosts cultural and sporting events. We enhance our communities with our theater and music performances, our library, gallery spaces, arboretum and protected green space. But in addition to how we enrich the quality of life for our community, USC Upstate also has a direct economic impact. We have 550 full-time employees and about 500 part-time employees serving approximately 6,000 students and more than 26,500 alumni. Using a model developed to measure the economic impact of universities by the South Carolina Department of Commerce, a conservative estimate of our impact states that USC Upstate contributed $152,437,408 into the local economy in 2015-2016. With a state investment of about $11 million a year, USC Upstate continues to demonstrate an ability to leverage the state’s investment into a significant impact for our community.
Imagine this community without USC Upstate. Read more of Fitzpatrick’s blog post.