Published: Nov. 7, 2022

Investments in research, contributions of faculty and alumni create enormous impact for the state.

Larimer Square in Denver, with Colorado state flags flying in the background.

Larimer Square, in Denver. The capital city is one of the three metro areas that most benefit from the University of Colorado system's economic contributions to the state.

The University of Colorado system is confronting the same challenges as many businesses in the state, from inflation and rising interest rates to talent shortages and supply-chain snafus.

Like the rest of the business community, though, CU is finding a way to create meaningful impact. 

In the fiscal year ended June 2022, CU and its hospital affiliates represented a $13.3 billion economic engine for the state, according to an economic impact report from the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business. 

“The university continues to invest heavily in research and construction projects that create direct bottom-line impact for Colorado,” said Brian Lewandowski, BRD executive director. “Furthermore, the 300,000-plus alumni who call Colorado home continue to have an outsized impact on innovation and productivity at work, from major employers to entrepreneurial ventures.” 

Go deeper: CU 2022 economic impact study

The university system’s four campuses—Anschutz Medical Campus, Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs—generated $8.7 billion worth of impact last year, to go with another $4.6 billion from hospitals affiliated with Anschutz.

Some key findings from the report: 

•    The CU system creates economic impact in every county in Colorado, with the greatest effects felt in the Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs metropolitan areas. 

•    The university directly employed 47,600 faculty, staff and student workers, representing $2.4 billion in salaries. 

•    CU invested $4.8 billion in operations, research and construction. 

BRD measures total economic impact through education, construction, research, visitors, technology transfer and employment, and while the report does not break these figures down to the school level, research and investment coming out of Leeds continues to play a key role in the economic strength of the state. That’s especially the case through the school’s Centers of Excellence, which conduct meaningful research and share thought leadership in areas like finance, real estate, entrepreneurship and sustainability. 

More: In Weathering the Economy, a Forecaster You Can Count On

Experts from BRD are regularly sought in the media and industry for their economic insights. BRD is preparing for its annual Business Economic Outlook Forum, a primer on the state’s economy and its expected performance for the coming year, which will take place in-person at the Grand Hyatt Denver on Dec. 5. The event is free to attend, but registration is required

Why Leeds  Download full report  Business Research Division