Report validates UCSD’s importance in local economy


UCSD and city officials last week touted the results of a recent report showing that the school annually contributes $7.2 billion in overall spending and personal income to the California economy in addition to generating 39,000 jobs.

University Chancellor Marye Ann Fox moderated a press conference on campus that featured several speakers, including San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. He stressed the importance of the university’s contributions, especially in a time of economic adversity.

“When we think about job creation, we think about UCSD first,” Sanders said. “This report comes at a very relevant time, when you consider the state of the current national economic crisis.”

Among top employers

The report, prepared by CBRE Consulting Inc. showed that companies started by the school’s faculty and alumni contribute over $37 billion each year to the state economy and create over 130,000 new jobs, the report states. The university is the third largest employer in the county.

For every $1 of direct spending, the university generates an additional 92 cents in indirect spending.

This is the first time the university has hired a third party to conduct the research.

“Past reports have been done internally,” UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Ann Fox said.

“This one was commissioned to an outside agency, so it was a validation exercise for us.”

Innovations at work

Among the speakers was UCSD alumnus Steven Hart, co-founder and chief technology officer of ViaSat, whose remarks underscored what UCSD brings to the county’s economy.

ViaSat is a Carlsbad-based company working the field of digital satellite telecommunications. “We’re not innovating in terms of financial schemes,” he said. “We’re innovating in terms of how to actually build new things.”

Ranked seventh best public school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC San Diego is the third largest employer in San Diego County, paying more than $1.1 billion in salaries to almost 27,000 faculty and staff members.

More than money

But those at the event emphasized more than just the monetary contributions of the school.

Tyler S. Green, an undergraduate research student, talked about the ways his current research in the field of medical psychiatry is helping to find new ways to improve patient treatment.

Also, UCSD Medical Center serves over 21,000 inpatients and 476,000 outpatients per year.

Alexis Conerty, a resident of Solana Beach talked during the press conference about the high quality of care received he received there. She was a patient at the center’s neonatal intensive care unit when her son, Aaron, was born.

Conerty credits the center’s professionalism, personal care and advanced medical technology for saving the life of her son.