WXYZ Editorial: URC & MI. higher education institutions have big impact on Detroit area turnaround

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 18:06:27-04

Higher education institutions, big and small, four-year and two-year, are playing a major role in Southeast Michigan’s national competitiveness. From vocational, to liberal arts, to professional education, we need them all to grow this region! 

But on a matter of scale, one aspect of Michigan’s academic smorgasbord is truly unique.  This year celebrates the 10th anniversary of the University Research Corridor, better known as the URC.  It’s a partnership between Michigan State, the University of Michigan and Wayne State.  Today, they rank as one of the nation’s top university clusters.   Michigan is one of only 17 states in the U.S. that have at least 3 major research universities.  And one of only 4 that have 3 research designated institutions within two hours of each other.

To the URC’s credit, it recently released a report documenting their joint contributions to the resurgence of Michigan’s largest city.  In 2015 alone, the URC added $958 million in economic activity to the Motor City.  They also conducted $263 million in Detroit-related research through more than 700 research grants.  And there are more than 340 programs they are involved in focused on improving education in Detroit.  Finally, MSU, U of M and Wayne contributed 1 in 20 jobs to the city.

Combine all of this with the individual work of other Michigan universities and local community colleges, and it’s easy to see how much impact higher education has on this city, region and state.  Even though the cost of a higher education is still a major challenge for many, we commend all of these institutions for making education one of Michigan’s greatest assets.  Our strength and future depend on them!

I'm Mike Murri, Vice President & General Manager

Broadcast: June 9 - 12, 2016