Colleges of pharmacy have the responsibility of training and preparing the next generation of pharmacists who will assume new roles and responsibilities in an ever-changing health care market. Educating this essential workforce is not the only contribution of colleges of pharmacy. A college of pharmacy's presence in the local community impacts the lives of all its citizens, either directly or indirectly.
In the process of providing higher education, universities and their colleges spend millions of dollars every year on the salaries of faculty and staff members and on the purchase of goods and services from suppliers. In turn, faculty and staff members spend large portions of their salaries in the local economy. Additionally, colleges of pharmacy attract students from around the state and nation, and the students often bring families with them. While enrolled, these students and their families spend their earnings and savings within the local economy as they go about their daily lives.
What is the value of the contributions made by colleges of pharmacy on the local community? Colleges of pharmacy have research, service, patient care, and education as their mission. Most allocate substantial resources (especially for accreditation purposes) to tracking the products of these 4 missions. Colleges document the numbers of papers and books written, patents applied for and received, service and volunteer efforts, health improvements resulting from patient care, diversity and quality of the curriculum, and achievements of students as well as faculty members. These accomplishments are by and large reported to the community and are a source of community pride. But seldom is a dollar value attached to a colleges' attainment of their fourfold mission, at least not in terms of how these accomplishments provide an economic return to the communities surrounding the colleges.
This study uses the United States Bureau of Economic Analyses (BEA) RIMS II input/output analysis1
to quantify the economic impact of the University of Tennessee's College of Pharmacy (UTCOP) on the economy of the state of Tennessee in terms of the dollar value of output (the production of goods and services produced as a result of the economic entity in question), earnings, and the number of jobs. The primary focus of the study is to provide an economic analysis of UTCOP revenue, expense, and capital data for the 2004-2005 fiscal year. Additionally, we provide a qualitative look at how UTCOP impacts the community it serves.
The UTCOP serves as an excellent example of the potential economic contribution of a college of pharmacy. It ranks 17 out of 102 colleges of pharmacy nationally, is 107 years old, and has more than 68 full-time faculty members, 100 part-time faculty members, and over 300 affiliated and volunteer faculty members. UTCOP is a research-intensive institution with patient care services, research, service and administration, and education as its 4 missions. As a major research University, the development of new knowledge and the sharing of that new knowledge are essential to the College's mission.
UTCOP consists of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Department of Clinical Pharmacy that had a combined enrollment of 486 students during the 2004-05 fiscal year and 552 during the 2005-2006 fiscal year. The College of Pharmacy is undergoing a period of expansion, with enrollment projected to grow to 800 students by 2009 in an effort to meet increased demand for pharmacists both in Tennessee and nationally. This represents an increase of nearly 65.0% over FY 2004-2005.
A majority of the students are based at UTCOP's Memphis campus. However, beginning with the 2007-2008 fiscal year, second- and third-professional year students will be split between the Memphis and Knoxville campuses, with the majority (125) remaining in Memphis and 75 in Knoxville. Additionally, students spend their last one and a half years of the PharmD program in advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) across the state, in approximately 65 of the 95 counties in Tennessee. In support of the clinical training that students go through during APPEs, UTCOP in 2005-2006 had:
- 210 volunteer faculty in community pharmacies and hospitals throughout Tennessee;
- 89 affiliate agreements;
- Exchange programs in 9 countries;
- Clinical education centers for fourth-professional year pharmacy students in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Kingsport;
- Residency program affiliations statewide.
As a result, while the lion's share of UTCOP's economic impact is in the Memphis area, it is also spread across the entire state of Tennessee (Figure ).
Map of University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy educational sites.
UTCOP embarked on conducting an economic impact study for a number of reasons. Primary among these was determining the community support role of UTCOP for Memphis, the Mid-South, and the State of Tennessee. UTCOP has long been an outstanding institution, but knowing the economic impact that it has on the community in terms of actual dollars is important for the community as well as the rest of the University of Tennessee. UTCOP is not alone in realizing the importance of identifying economic impacts. Currently, Michigan State University is looking at the economic impact of its outreach programs and has developed a tool to measure this on an annual basis.2-3
This tool is also being utilized by the University of Tennessee (UT) system to look at the total impact of UT's outreach programs. For examples of economic impact studies of higher education institutions, see reports on Tarleton State University,4
East Central University,5
and Duke University.6
Universities need to be good stewards of the resources that they garner both from state and private sources. In order to demonstrate the level of achievement of this stewardship, universities must know what the actual economic impact is. Without knowing the economic impact, it is extremely difficult to present a cogent stewardship argument to a foundation, federal agency, or state agencies for funding. Agencies that are providing resources are looking at returns on investments and the value of their investments. An economic impact statement is a tool that provides that information on behalf of universities.