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NIU and Our Region’s Prosperity

Northern Illinois University I 2011

Hoffman Estates


Lorado Taft Chicago Office

The Northern Illinois region anchors the economy of the Midwest and connects the Midwest’s economy to the world. Northern Illinois University (NIU) is the only comprehensive public four-year institution that serves the entire northern Illinois region from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. As a major employer and a

comprehensive teaching and research institution, NIU contributes to the region’s prosperity in many ways:



By preparing educated employees that can fill strategic workforce needs in Illinois. Almost 24,000 students are enrolled each year in NIU’s more than 90 undergraduate majors and minors and more than 100 graduate-level programs, specialties, and certificates. More than 60% of all NIU alumni who graduated since 1993 remain in Illinois to live and work. By providing jobs for 8,869 employees throughout the northern Illinois region. Because the university is a major employer in northern Illinois, most of these employees’ wages and taxes flow directly into local economies. By helping businesses become innovative and entrepreneurial. Universitybusiness partnerships offer opportunities for faculty and students to collaborate with business and industry to solve problems and link to global markets and financial resources. By generating an estimated $699.5 million in economic impact for the region through payroll, operating expenditures, student and visitor spending and capital projects.

Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow

By connecting the region with broadband. NIU has played a pivotal role in connecting hospitals, schools, police and fire departments, and other community institutions to a high-speed Internet network. By providing vital public services. NIU is helping meet critical health and human service needs across the region while preparing trained professionals in essential occupations. By creating a vibrant artistic, cultural, and recreational life for community residents and university students, faculty, and staff. Almost 80% of the state’s economic activity is located within a two-hour drive of NIU’s main campus in DeKalb or one of its regional centers in Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Rockford, Oregon, or the Chicago office.



Educating the Regional Workforce The most fundamental contribution that NIU makes to the region’s economic prosperity is preparing students to succeed in the global workplace. Almost 24,000 students are enrolled at any one time in one of NIU’s more than 60 undergraduate majors and more than 100 graduatelevel programs, specialties, and certificates.

Other ways NIU is helping address vital workforce needs include:

To target strategic workforce needs NIU is partnering in new ways with other educational institutions in the region. NIU has rolled out five new degrees geared toward helping community college students transfer to NIU, better meeting the needs of the approximately 40% of NIU students who attended a community college at some point in their education.

Nursing. In response to the growing need for R.N.-B.S. in nursing completion programs, NIU is awarding 32 semester hours of credit for previous nursing work to RNs admitted to the bachelor of science degree program in nursing. Students must then complete an additional 24 semester hours to fulfill the degree requirements.

NIU serves students from within Illinois, and they stay to live and work. More than 92% of NIU students come from in-state. This includes 25% from Cook County, 54% from the Chicago metro region, and 7% from the Rockford region.

Pharmacy. NIU and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) are partnering to guarantee admission of 10 qualified NIU students each year into the UIC College of Pharmacy, one of the nation’s premier pharmacy programs. Teaching. NIU’s new Master of Arts in Teaching degree is designed for career-changing professionals seeking their initial certification as teachers. The College of Education offers elementary education programs and the College of Health and Human Sciences offers health education. Retraining. Workers who find themselves unemployed as a result of a company layoff, bankruptcy, or plant closure can qualify for federal funding to return to the classroom. Under the Federal Workforce Investment Act, they may apply for a grant from their local WorkNet office to take courses at one of NIU’s convenient locations in the northern Illinois region.

Where NIU Students Come From

l Chicago metro region

At a Glance NIU prepares almost 24,000

students to succeed in the global workforce through more than 60 undergraduate majors and more than 100 graduatelevel programs, specialties, and certificates.

Recent surveys indicate that more than 60% of all NIU alumni who graduated since 1993 remain in Illinois.

l Cook County

NIU enrolls more

undergraduate students in bachelor’s degree programs than any other college or university in northern Illinois.


l Rockford region

NIU graduates who live and

work within Illinois earn more than $3.8 billion in income each year and create at least $8 billion in additional GDP for the Illinois economy annually.

l Elsewhere in Illinois l Out-of-state


Helping Businesses Innovate University-business collaborations and faculty-based consulting help existing companies innovate and encourage new ventures and social entrepreneurship. Each year, hundreds of collaborations occur between business and industry and NIU faculty, students, and staff throughout the region. Dual-Use Engineering Laboratories. The College of Engineering and Engineering Technology maintains eight state-of-the-art labs for teaching and faculty research. Businesses in the region can use these labs to work with faculty and students on specific technical and business problems in areas including: • • • • • • • •

Computer-Aided Design/Manufacturing Controls and Robotics Fluid Dynamics Heat and Mass Transfer Materials Analysis Vibrations Computerized Data Acquisition and LabVIEW Macro/Micro Manufacturing

NIU was awarded an elective classification for Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships which recognizes institutions of higher education for their collaboration with their larger communities (local, regional/ state, national and global).

The College of Business’s Experiential Learning Center. The Experiential Learning Center (ELC) connects teams of NIU students with organizations to tackle real-world business issues. More than 83 ELC projects have been completed in areas ranging from software evaluation to emerging market analysis projects.



Stimulating Local Economies Outreach, Engagement, and Information Technologies. An innovative group of agencies serving homeless adults in Rockford worked with NIU information technology experts to develop software that supports online collaborative case management. NIU’s Center for Governmental Studies helped produce a business plan that created an entrepreneurial not-for-profit social enterprise, Community Collaboration, Inc. This software is now used by more than 850 licensed users in seven states to help improve human service delivery to over 120,000 clients.

The “State of Ingenuity.” NIU’s Center for Governmental Studies and Division of Public Administration are partnering with economic development agencies, state and local governments, universities, and colleges in a six-county region in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. NIU is delivering leadership training and developing global markets for the region’s products as well as linking local businesses to global financial resources.

While a majority of NIU’s 8,869 employees live in DeKalb County, many others live in counties throughout northern Illinois. All together, these employees earned $151.4 million in wages in FY 2010, most of which flowed directly into their local economies.

Number of Employees by ZIP Code in 2010

Number of Employees < 10 11 - 50 51 - 250 >251

NIU’s 8,869 employees earned $151.4 million in wages in FY 2010.


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NIU also purchases goods and services needed for university operations, much of which comes from local businesses. In FY 2010, these types of university-related purchases amounted to $61.6 million. NIU students who live on campus or who commute to classes represent another major economic boost to the region. In FY 2010, students purchased an estimated $98.7 million in housing, food, and other goods and services. An additional $26.8 million was spent by parents of students and other visitors attracted to campus athletic events, concerts, and other artistic and cultural activities.

At a Glance University-related purchases for goods and services amounted to $61.6 million in FY 2010.

Students purchased an estimated $98.7 million in housing, food, and other goods and services in FY 2010. 9

Parents of students and other visitors attracted to campus athletic events, concerts, and other artistic and cultural activities spent $26.8 million.

NIU investments in new construction, renovations, and equipment purchases represent another direct economic stimulus to the regional economy. Between FY 2006 and FY 2010, NIU spent more than $113 million on capital projects. In 2010 alone, these expenditures were $36.3 million.

Among the largest of NIU’s capital projects undertaken in the past four years are: $22.5 million for the renovation of the Stevens Building $58 million for the renovation of the entire Grant Towers project $8.0 million for the renovation of Cole Hall and the replacement of the Cole Auditorium into the Stevens project $7.4 million for the installation of fire sprinkler systems in Lincoln, Douglas, and Neptune Residence Halls $3.9 million for the design, abatement, and renovation of the Monsanto Facility, an additional $2 million for FF&E (furniture, fixtures, and equipment) $3.2 million for a new track and soccer field facility $1.9 million for utility extension and infrastructure improvements to support the new Northern View Community housing for students with dependents $1.6 million for utility extension and infrastructure improvements to support the new Yordon Center for Academic and Athletic Performance $1.4 million for the reconstruction of parking lot W and Grant Drive East $1.4 million for College Avenue bridge, street, and parking Lot 14 reconstruction

NIU Capital Expenditures by Fiscal Year $40,000,000 $35,000,000 $30,000,000 $25,000,000

Estimated NIU Economic Impact on the Northern Illinois Region in FY 2010


Annual Output Impacts

$15,000,000 $10,000,000 $5,000,000 $0






Northern Illinois Region Direct

Indirect and Induced


University Operations




University Employment




Student Spending (Residential)*




Student Spending (Commuter)*








Capital Projects




Total Impacts




* Estimates of student and visitor spending were based on the NIU Economic Impact Study by Peddle, Kise, and Lewis (1995).

NIU has embarked on a multi-year renovation project to transform its campus through upgrades to existing facilities, creation of a new outdoor recreation complex and construction of a privately funded 1,000-bed residence hall complex. These projects ensure that NIU provides the best learning and living environment possible – from technologically sophisticated residence halls with modern amenities, to comfortable, functional public spaces. Funding for these projects (other than the new residence hall) is made possible through the sale of Build America Bonds created as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


The $374.9 million in university-related expenditures created another $324.5 million in indirect and induced economic impacts in the region in FY 2010 by putting suppliers and their employees to work. These additional economic benefits resulted from NIU’s payroll, operating expenditures, student and visitor purchases, and capital investments rippling through the region and stimulating additional economic activity.

In addition to NIU’s 8,869 employees, another 3,438 jobs were created in other businesses throughout the region as a result of the university’s operations and payroll. Capital construction projects added another 528 jobs to the total employment accounted for by NIU in FY 2010.


NIU is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the category of Research Universities (high research activity), a designation reserved for universities that award at least 20 research degrees during the year.

• The Community Cares Clinic is a collaboration between KishHealth System, NIU, and private donors to provide a clinical training site for health-care students that offers individuals and families affordable access to primary medical care. In 2010, 5,138 individuals were treated. • The Child Development Lab is a research and training facility for child care professionals that provides quality programs for young children. In 2010, 59 families were served.

Providing Community Service NIU is engaged with communities throughout the region. The university was recently recognized by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its engaged partnerships. NIU faculty and staff spend thousands of hours every year assisting the region’s public and private leaders to upgrade and expand the quality of public infrastructure that is available to all residents, nonprofits, and businesses. Public Service. NIU uses internships, professional practicums, and service-learning opportunities to engage in mutually beneficial relationships with hundreds of residents, non-profits, local governments, and other external partners throughout the region. Health and Human Services. NIU is using its scientific and professional expertise to respond to urgent and critical health and human service needs across the region. • The Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic provides evidence-based practice in delivering services in audiology, speech-language pathology, and rehabilitation counseling. In 2010, 2,500 individuals were served. • NIU’s Tri-County Community Health Center, located on the Kishwaukee College campus in Malta, Illinois, is staffed and managed by nurses and nurse practitioners and provides affordable, primary health care to low income families. In 2010, 2,692 individuals received care.


• The Family Center of NIU provides therapeutic assistance for people experiencing a wide range of life difficulties. In 2010, 212 individuals were seen. • The Physical Therapy Clinic provides physical therapy services to the students of NIU and specialized services to members of the community. In 2010, 100 individuals were assisted. Teacher Training. NIU’s certification programs produce a range of educators including teachers, administrators, school counselors, school psychologists, reading specialists, and athletic trainers. Of the 861 individuals who obtained an educational certification or endorsement in the 2008-2009 school year, 449 (or 52%) were employed by Illinois public schools in the following year.

NIU Public Service in 2010 • The Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic: 2,500 individuals • NIU’s Tri-County Community Health Center: 2,692 individuals • The Community Cares Clinic: 5,138 individuals • The Child Development Lab: 59 families • The Family Center of NIU: 212 individuals • The Physical Therapy Clinic: 100 individuals • Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic: 176 clients, 323 cases closed

Local Government Management. NIU’s Division of Public Administration operates one of the nation’s top-ranked master’s programs for local government administrators. Each semester, 20 graduate students participate in professional internships with local government units in the region. Zeke Giorgi Legal Clinic. This Rockford clinic provides an opportunity for law students to experience handson practice under the supervision of experienced attorneys. Law students represent clients who would not otherwise have access to legal representation. In 2010, the clinic accepted 176 clients and closed a total of 323 cases.

Community Leadership, Information, and ProblemSolving Activities. NIU’s staff and faculty serve on boards, commissions, and task forces that are formed by governments, non-profits, and public-private partnerships to improve the quality of life for all residents in the region. In addition, the university sponsors many units that are directly engaged in this work. • • • • • • •

NIU faculty and staff also seek external funding to support their research, creative artistry, public service, and instructional efforts. In 2010, more than $72 million in sponsored projects were awarded to NIU personnel, and almost one-third of these funds, or $23.5 million, were targeted toward public service and engagement projects.


The Center for P-20 Engagement The Center for Governmental Studies Regional Development Institute Illinois Interactive Report Card DuPage Federation for Human Services Broadband Development Group Office of Regional Engagement/Rockford

Connecting the Region with Broadband

Making Global Connections

NIU has received more than $110 million in federal, state, and local funding to connect north central and northwestern Illinois with high-bandwidth fiber optics. This broadband network provides high-speed Internet connectivity to 533 anchor institutions in northern Illinois including universities, community colleges, school districts, police departments, fire departments, public health departments, hospitals, and physician clinics.

NIU activities offer opportunities for companies throughout the region to access markets and customers around the world. The Office of International Programs. NIU attracts undergraduate and graduate students from nearly 100 nations and has strong working relationships with foreign government consulates in the Chicago metropolitan region. In addition, the university maintains agreements with more than 40 universities outside the U.S. that support a wide array of project-oriented collaborations.

With an additional funded initiative, 85 rural hospitals throughout the state will be connected to regional medical centers and share health services. By bringing high-speed broadband services to underserved areas, the network will create hundreds of jobs and spur the development of large and small businesses.

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies. This interdisciplinary center at NIU is a federally funded National Resource Center dedicated to increasing knowledge and understanding of 11 countries of Southeast Asia through academic endeavors and public outreach: Brunei, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Meeting Future Challenges for Regional Prosperity

PASCAL International Observatory. NIU is a lead partner in a global network of leaders from regional governments, international organizations, and higher education that helps regions manage the consequences of globalization. NIU is involved in a PASCAL project with 11 northern Illinois community colleges to improve college success for Latino residents, improve access to information for public policy-makers and program staff, and strengthen the connections between NIU and area community colleges.

The PASCAL International Observatory Network

The decade ahead will continue to place great strains on public finances in Illinois and throughout the nation. Yet, public universities like NIU have been responding strategically to public needs for more than a century. NIU will continue to serve that role through engaged partnerships with the region for teaching, research, artistry, and service activities. We will move forward together to build a more prosperous and secure future for all Illinois residents.


Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Printed by authority of the State of Illinois. www.niu.edu 6/11 .5M 51762

Profile for Northern Illinois University

NIU and our Region's Prosperity  

The Northern Illinois region anchors the economy of the Midwest and connects the Midwest’s economy to the world. Northern Illinois Universit...

NIU and our Region's Prosperity  

The Northern Illinois region anchors the economy of the Midwest and connects the Midwest’s economy to the world. Northern Illinois Universit...