Economic Impact and Higher Education

Author: Allison Nanni

By Allison Nanni

The Beyond the Campus consortium includes institutions of higher education that attract millions of dollars, thousands of jobs and countless hours of volunteer service to the local community.

According to a leading economic development impact analysis firm, Bethel College and IUSB employ over 2000 people collectively. IUSB alone contributes $141.8 million to the local economy, and generates over $16.7 million in state and local tax income and charitable donations combined. 

Capital investments on- and off-campus strengthen local businesses, create jobs and enhance the health and renewal of local neighborhoods.  For example, the construction of Raclin-Carmichael Hall and Harper Hall on the Indiana University School of Medicine – South Bend campus contributed $45 million in capital investments to the local community.

In addition to capital investment, several South Bend colleges and universities participate in local efforts to enhance affordable housing and commercial assets. 

A partnership between the University of Notre Dame and the Northeast Neighbortranglehood Revitalization Organization (NNRO) has initiated a new redevelopment plan for 53 mixed-income, single-family homes.  The vision for the development is an attractive, safe, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with strong links to the surrounding area.

Chia Chang, director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Microfluidics and Medical Diagnostics, is working to attract a new industry to the area.  Dr. Chang hopes to bring growth to South Bend within the next five years by luring multinational corporations to invest in developing technology. “I’ve seen it happen,” says Chang, who observed the economic boom in Taiwan. 

Other schools like Ivy Tech Community College and Saint Mary’s College view their direct support of new and existing business as part of their mission to effect long-term growth and stability in the region. 

In just two years, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) at Saint Mary's College has become the go-to place for the Michiana’s female entrepreneurs. The program collaborates with community businesses, non-profits, and organizations to offer financial and business education services to women entrepreneurs. Major community business partners include: 1st Source Bank, KeyBank, Key4Women, Kruggel, Lawton and Co. and Renaissance Executive Forums.  

“This program showcases the strength behind community bonds,” says WEI project director, Martha Smith, “Together we are igniting small business growth.”

For more information on WEI,