Kent Benefits Region As It Approaches Centennial

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As he reaches the end of his fourth year as president of Kent State, Lester Lefton is thrilled with the findings of Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. which conducted the study.

"Every year Kent State adds about $2B to the economy of Northeastern Ohio"

That's the bottom line, Lefton says, emphasizing that the school commissioned, but had no other input into the research by the consulting firm.

The report's glowing numbers are based on criteria ranging from new companies hatched from university research, to the 5,000 jobs Kent State provides, to the high percentage of degreed alumni who remain in the area.

Kent State's value as a growth engine was particularly praised in a time of reduced state subsidies to higher-learning; Lefton says state funding comprises just 23% of KSU's budget - down from more than 80% as recently as 1985.

But Lefton says the report also indicates the school is one of Ohio's best 'money-'makers'.

"For every $100 that the state of Ohio invests in Kent State, we return in added tax revenues or decreased costs in other areas, about $180. So we turn out to be a really good investment for the state."

In addition to its main campus, Kent State operates 7 regional campuses in 6 Northeast Ohio counties.

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