The U: We're big bucks in Crookston

It’s budget-cutting time at the University of Minnesota, so I suppose it’s perfectly natural for everyone to start indicating how important their positions are.

UM-Crookston campus

UM-Crookston campus

This article in the Grand Forks Herald got my interest, because it mentions a University of Minnesota Extension report that is more detailed than what I’m used to seeing in the news. The full report is here.

The gist: The Crookston campus generates about $50 million a year for its community. I called a couple of the university men behind the study, who broke it down to the following ratio:

For every dollar that the state spends on that branch, it generates about $1.66 in economic gains to the surrounding area — mainly Polk and Grand Forks counties.

The two men, Arthur Nash and David Nelson, say it’s indeed the first such detailed report to appear in the state (at least in quite a while), and one of just a few of its type around the country.

Is that true? Does anyone know of other reports, especially for other campuses, the U of M system or MnSCU? How significant is that $1-to-$1.66 ratio that the report authors mention?

A passing look does lead one to think such colleges are the last place the state would want to make cuts. But I could use some context here.