UW-Stout News Story

Survey: Menomonie residents see UW-Stout as a good neighbor

February 6, 2012

Menomonie residents continue to believe University of Wisconsin-Stout is a good neighbor.

That’s the overall conclusion from the 2011 Community Survey, the results of which were compiled by the UW-Stout Office of Planning, Assessment, Research and Quality. The survey included calls to 300 randomly selected households, with a response rate of 24 percent.

Community members were asked to provide ratings on five questions related to community satisfaction. Here are the results:

•   Community members provided the highest average ratings for UW-Stout being a positive asset to the community, with 94 percent agreeing to that question and 97 percent agreeing that UW-Stout volunteers are a positive asset.

•   Ninety-one percent of respondents agreed that UW-Stout is open about its plans for the future and that UW-Stout collaborates with the community.

•   The majority of respondents (84 percent) rated the relationship with the community as good or excellent.

The same survey was conducted in 2008, and there were no statistically significant changes in the average ratings on these five items in the interim.

When asked to describe UW-Stout, the comments were overwhelmingly positive. Common words and comments that were used included “awesome,” “excellent school,” “positive” and “very good university.”

More than a quarter of the positive comments addressed the quality of UW-Stout, with community members indicating that UW-Stout is a quality school. An additional 22 percent of the coded responses indicated that UW-Stout was an asset to the community.

“We work very hard at being a good neighbor and contributing to the community and the economy,” said Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen. “It is heartening that our neighbors in the community feel good about our relationship and what we mean to Menomonie and Dunn County.”

The results follow the release in June 2011 of a study of UW-Stout’s economic impact. That study, conducted by an independent consulting firm, found that UW-Stout contributes $347 million each year to Wisconsin’s economy and returns $9.59 for each $1 state taxpayers invest in the institution.

The economic impact of UW-Stout comes from the direct spending of students, faculty, staff, visitors and university operations, as well as indirect and induced spending. The biggest share, $151.9 million, comes from students, followed by $92.9 million from employees, $63.9 million from the institution and $38.5 million from visitors.

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