UMass President Marty Meehan addresses the Worcester Chamber of Commerce at their annual meeting on Friday, Dec. 11.
The University of Massachusetts is generating more than $6.1 billion in economic activity and 45,000 jobs each year as it “drives the economy of this state,” said UMass President Martin T. Meehan in a keynote address to the Worcester Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting on Friday, Dec. 11. Meehan, citing figures from a UMass Donahue Institute’s analysis, said the state contributes approximately $550 million to the system, earning taxpayers a 12 to 1 return on their investment.
“The medical school alone has a $1.7 billion economic impact on the Massachusetts’ economy,” Meehan said, calling UMMS the “crown jewel” of the system and applauding the leadership of Chancellor Michael F. Collins. “If you look at the medical school, what the state invests and what the return is, it’s well over 40 to 1.
"I think the University of Massachusetts is extremely important to this state and I believe passionately that we need to keep it strong.”
Meehan, who was inaugurated last month as the 27th president of the university, is a graduate of UMass Lowell and the first undergraduate alumnus to lead the five-campus system. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives and as chancellor of UMass Lowell before assuming the university presidency. He told the chamber audience of more than 500 members at the DCU Center in Worcester that, as a native of Lowell, he believes in cities like Worcester and in the importance of an affordable education for families.
“There are 73,000 students in UMass and I want every single one of them to get the same opportunity that I got,” he said. “I think UMass is something worth the commonwealth investing in.”