WHY DID THE SDBOR COMMISSION A STUDY? The SDBOR commissioned the analysis to quantify the impact of all six public higher education institutions in its system. SDBOR and the university have a number of helpful tools to explain the value proposition for supporting higher education; this independent study is one way to help explain its worth. In trying to explain the value of South Dakota public higher education to internal and external constituents, it is important to quantify the workforce and economic gains realized throughout the state. There are many ways to view the impact and value of a university and university system — economic impact is one. WHY DOES THIS STUDY LOOK DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS WE HAVE SEEN PUBLISHED? The veracity of the data and methodology are consistent with industry-standard protocols for conducting an effective economic-impact study that is conservative. The data is an independent assessment of the university’s contribution to the overall economy — the numbers drive the message, not the other way around. The report is designed to make the data analysis accessible to all readers. 22