Announcing SJSU’s inaugural Economic and Social Impact Study

by Dr. Mary A. Papazian

Dear campus community,

I am delighted to share with you today a new economic and social impact study that offers a detailed look at SJSU’s tangible influence throughout the City of San José, the greater Bay Area and the State of California.

This in-depth report was commissioned by the university and led by Beacon Economics, LLC, a highly-respected independent research and consulting firm with deep experience in economic analysis. Learn more about how SJSU impacts students, faculty, staff and alumni on our new Impact website or with this short series of videos:

All of us at San José State know and appreciate the benefits of a college education. When Money ranked us the Most Transformative University in the nation last summer, it confirmed what we have long known about the ways in which SJSU helps change the lives of its students, their families and others associated with our university.

What is sometimes less obvious, however, is the tremendous value our campus brings to our communities and neighborhoods. Our local businesses thrive, our arts districts crackle, and our civic pride swells, all due to the tens of thousands of students, staff, faculty members and other university supporters and stakeholders who populate and visit our campus.

Every day, we learn about stories of transformation at SJSU, about how our students, families, alumni and others have seen their lives change for the better as a result of their higher education journeys. I encourage you to read the report, analyze the data and draw your own conclusions, but I can tell you that this new study confirms that SJSU delivers tremendous, broad-ranging value to a variety of communities and stakeholders.

One number in particular—the $4.1 billion in total economic output that SJSU produced in California from 2018-2019—stands out in the report. But there are other eye-popping data points, too:

  • For every dollar in state funding the university receives, SJSU generates $24 in statewide economic output. 
  • In the Bay Area and Silicon Valley regions alone, SJSU produces $2.4 billion and $1.8 billion in economic output, respectively. 
  • SJSU supports over 25,000 jobs in the state of California, including more than 13,000 throughout the Bay Area and more than 10,000 in Silicon Valley.

As impressive and important as they are, the report is about more than sheer economic numbers. The Executive Summary notes that SJSU offers significant social and community value to the City of San José and broader regions through our many organizations, centers and institutes. Ranging from marine and transportation research at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and the Mineta Transportation Institute, respectively, to research and advocacy emanating from our Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change and others, SJSU has established itself as an invaluable asset, both locally and globally.

I also must add that the Beacon study makes clear that much of our value is derived from our strong commitment to community, and the longstanding and deep relationships we have cultivated. We partner with the City of San José, for example, to promote arts programs at the Hammer Theatre Center, as well as through organizations such as the Center for Community Learning and Leadership and CommUniverCity.

Cities matter, we know, because they provide such fertile ground for creativity, art, innovative thinking and the exchange of ideas and cultures that leads to positive transformation. Every great urban university—including San José State—needs to have a great city surrounding it, and we are delighted to be part of the great city that is San José to help us all reach our collective goals.

Thank you for all you do for San José State and for helping to make us the Most Transformative University in the nation. Enjoy the report!

With gratitude,

Dr. Mary A. Papazian