Ch. 3 Academic Affairs


Grand Valley is a co-educational, semester system, state supported institution of higher education.

Grand Valley was established in 1960 by the State of Michigan with the first classes being offered in 1963.

Grand Valley offers undergraduate and graduate and doctoral programs leading to baccalaureate degrees, master's degrees and/or doctoral degree.

B.A. Bachelor of Arts

B.S. Bachelor of Science

B.F.A. Bachelor of Fine Arts

B.M. Bachelor of Music

B.M.E. Bachelor of Music Education

B.S.E. Bachelor of Science in Engineering

B.S.N. Bachelor of Science in Nursing

B.S.W. Bachelor of Social Work

B.B.A. Bachelor of Business Administration

M.A.E. Master of Arts in English

M.B.A. Master of Business Administration

M.Ed. Master of Education

M.H.A. Master of Health Administration

M.H.S. Master of Health Science

M.P.A. Master of Public Administration

M.P.A.S. Master of Physician Assistant Studies

M.P.H. Master of Public Health

M.P.N.L. Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership

M.S. Master of Science

M.S.A. Master of Science in Accounting

M.S.E. Master of Science in Engineering

M.S.N. Master of Science in Nursing

M.S.N./M.B.A. Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration

M.S.T. Master of Science in Taxation

M.S.W. Master of Social Work

Ed.S. Educational Specialist Degree in Leadership

Psy.S. Psychological Specialist

D.N.P. Doctor of Nursing Practice

D.P.T. Doctor of Physical Therapy

Grand Valley also offers a variety of certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels which represent awards for completion of alternate levels of existing degree programs.


1. Board of Trustees

The legal authority for Grand Valley State University is vested in the Board of Trustees. Such decisions as those regarding fiscal matters, academic programs, and the employment of university regular faculty and executive, administrative, and professional staff are ultimately made by the Board, acting upon the advice of the President.

2. Administrative Organization

The President oversees all areas of activity within the institution, aided by five vice presidents: the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Vice President for University Relations, the Vice President for Development, and the Vice President for Inclusion and Equity.

3. Academic Organization

Academic Colleges

The table of organization indicates eight colleges under Academic Affairs: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Seidman College of Business, College of Community and Public Service, College of Education, College of Engineering and Computing, College of Health Professions, Kirkhof College of Nursing, and College of Interdisciplinary Studies. Each college is headed by a dean. He/she is the appointing officer for that college.


The library's primary goals are: 1) building a broad, authoritative and up-to-date collection of information resources that support and enhance teaching, research and learning at Grand Valley; 2) providing timely and effective access to those resources, including the provision of online resources wherever possible; 3) providing high-quality, student-focused education in finding, evaluating and using information; and 4) providing services that meet the needs of our users, both on-site and online.

Academic Support Units

Academic Computing/Educational Technology

Academic Computing/Educational Technology provides 1) assistance to the academic units in computer-aided instruction, 2) research capabilities to the faculty, and 3) students with exposure to computer technology. In the administrative area, the Center provides services in support of the operation and management of Grand Valley.

Advising Resources and Special Programs

The Advising Resources and Special Programs Division (ARSP) provides a wide range of services to students, the University and the community. Services include academic advising, student support programs, oversight of academic standards and assistance with University events and outreach initiatives. Advising services include pre-major, change of minor, transfer or general advising. Student support services include assistance with study skills, test anxiety and time management; administration of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) testing, testing of international students, placement testing, and extended time testing. Specialized support services to targeted student populations are available. Academic Standards oversight includes General Education Foundation requirements and Academic Review Committee. University and community outreach includes orientation for transfer students, assistance with freshman orientation, TRIO Programs, and collaborations with community colleges and our Regional campuses.


The Admissions Office is responsible for all matters pertaining to dissemination of information to potential students (undergraduate and graduate level), recruitment of students, entrance requirements, promotional visits to secondary schools and community colleges, communications with prospective students and parents, campus visits, administering transcript evaluations, and makes recommendations concerning admissions policies and procedures. The president has ultimate responsibility for the establishment of admissions requirements for the institution.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education at Grand Valley State University provides educational programs and services that link the needs of lifelong learners with the resources of the university. Continuing Education coordinates this commitment by providing academic programs and services at regional sites and locations throughout Michigan, as well as through professional development and community engagement opportunities.

Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership

The Johnson Center, as an academic center, improves communities by the application of knowledge, which unleashes the power of nonprofits, foundations, and individuals. The Johnson Center seeks to accomplish this in three ways: academically, by encouraging civic engagement among students and faculty; locally, by improving the quality of nonprofit leadership and management and community decision-making in West Michigan; and nationally, by enhancing the impact of foundations and nonprofit organizations.

Faculty Research and Development Center

The Faculty Research and Development Center (R & D) serves the faculty and students at Grand Valley by promoting and supporting quality scholarly and creative activities by faculty and students. R & D offers faculty scholarly travel support, competitive grants-in-aid for scholarly and creative endeavors and summer research stipends. It also provides students with scholarly travel support and occasional funding for graduate student scholarly work. Discretionary funds may be available to support scholarly events such as speakers or conferences. Through the Research and Development Committee, R & D annually selects the recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to a Discipline Award. Furthermore, the R & D Center provides the oversight and management of the research integrity compliance activities such as the protections of human subjects and humane care of animals in research.

Financial Aid

The student financial aid program brings together many sources of financial assistance to meet the needs of students in financing their educational costs. An institutional goal is equal access to educational opportunity for every qualified student seeking admission and scholarships, loans, grants, work-study, and other employment opportunities from federal and private funding sources shall be allocated based upon a sound institutional packaging philosophy.

Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence

The Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence (CSCE) provides leadership for, and oversight of, graduate education through the work of the Graduate Council and the Graduate Dean, along with strategic planning for graduate education, and the administration of university-wide standards, policies and procedures related to graduate education. The CSCE office serves as a resource center for faculty and staff involved in the development of proposals for external sponsored funding. This office also provides oversight on the management of sponsored funding (grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements) awarded to Grand Valley and ensures university compliance with sponsor guidelines. The Vice Provost of Research Administration and Executive Director of the CSCE is the university's authorizing official for sponsored programs and is also the university officer charged with oversight of allegations of misconduct in research.

Information Technology

The primary goal of Information Technology is to provide technology services and support for the university's instruction, research, administrative processes and public service mission. The unit is responsible for providing leadership and developing a vision to align informational technology services with that of the university mission to identify and inform faculty, students and staff about both current and emerging technologies that may be related to its activities. The unit also provides instruction on the uses of the technology and assists all university operations in the procurement of appropriate new information technologies.

Institutional Analysis

The Office of Institutional Analysis conducts research about the university's resources, processes and outcomes. Office staff provides decision support for the Office of the Provost and the broader university community. The office serves as a repository of data about the university and its students, faculty, and staff.

Padnos International Center

The purpose of the Padnos International Center is to organize and coordinate the university's international programs and activities; oversee international partnerships, faculty-led programs, study abroad programs, work and internship programs in other nations, international volunteer and service-learning activities; and assist in the recruitment, admission, and advising of international students.

Records and Registration

The university shall be provided with a balanced service program related to records and registration. The primary responsibilities of the records and registration function are the registration of all students, the maintenance of student academic records, residency reclassification, enrollment certifications, teacher certification, the production of management reports and enrollment statistics, graduation audits, and the protection of student rights relative to the release of personally identified information. This office is responsible for the implementation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as amended, which shall be contained in the Student Code. This office will administer the policy regarding residency requirements for in-state tuition and such policy shall be approved by the President.

Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center

The purpose of the Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center is to enhance student learning by supporting faculty members in their efforts to teach effectively. This Center provides programming regarding teaching-related issues, assists in the mentoring of new faculty and assists in grant administration.

Student Employment

Through the university work-study and regular employment programs, opportunities are provided to qualified students admitted to the university to work while enrolled in courses and through the summer months. It is the policy of the university to assure all qualified students the opportunity for part-time employment. The Student Employee Policy and Rate Schedule is approved by the President and published by the Financial Aid Office.

4. Academic Governance

The University Academic Senate (UAS) is the highest faculty governance body. It has the authority to deal with any academic issue or faculty concern. It makes recommendations to the Provost and/or the President. Senate membership consists of faculty members elected from and by the faculty of each College and the University Libraries, and students selected by the Student Senate, including the President of the Student Senate. The Provost and designees and the Deans (of any rank) are members ex officio, non-voting.

UAS Faculty Membership: Faculty membership for each college and the library will be determined by the following formula:

1-19 faculty = 1 member
20-39 faculty = 2 members
40-59 faculty = 3 members
60-79 faculty = 4 members
80-99 faculty = 5 members, and so forth

Terms of office are three years, staggered for the University Libraries and Colleges with more than one member. Representatives must have tenure/tenure-track faculty status and will only represent one College. Formal joint appointment equivalency can be counted toward tenure/tenture-track representation totals. Tenure/tenure-track faculty will be counted on the first class day of the winter semester of the preceding academic year.

UAS Student Membership: The Student Senate selects five members, including the Student Senate President and four representatives, one of which shall be a graduate student, in accordance with written Student Senate constitution and bylaws. Student members serve one-year terms.

UAS Administrative Membership: The Provost and designees, and the Deans (of any rank) are members exofficio, non-voting.

The Executive Committee of the Senate (ECS) serves as the clearing house for matters to be presented to the UAS. Such matters are discussed by ECS before its recommendations are made to the Senate. ECS membership consists of faculty senators from academic colleges and the library, the Student Senate President or designee, and the Provost and designees, ex officio, non-voting.

ECS Faculty Membership: Faculty membership of the ECS consists of seven members from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, two from the Seidman College of Business, one from each of the remaining Colleges, and one from the University libraries. The term of office is three years beginning at the end of the winter semester. ECS members will also serve as UAS senators for their elected term. Terms of those from colleges with two or more members are staggered.

ECS Student Membership: The President of the Student Senate or designee serves on ECS during his/her term of office.

ECS Administration Membership: The Provost and designees are members ex officio, non-voting.

ECS Additional Criteria: If the number of representatives from professional colleges increase, the number of representatives from CLAS will increase to match this number, based on a 50% principle (CoIS representative is counted in CLAS membership).

Standing committees that report to the Senate via ECS include the Academic Policies and Standards Committee, Faculty Facilities Planning Advisory Committee, Faculty Personnel Policy Committee, Faculty Salary and Budget Committee, Pew Faculty Teaching Learning Center Advisory Committee, General Education Committee, Graduate Council, University Assessment Committee, and University Curriculum Committee. The composition of each committee is described in the UAS Bylaws and always includes elected college and library representatives.

Copies of agendas and approved minutes of all meetings are posted on the Faculty Governance website. Agendas are sent out electronically to committee members one week prior to meetings, and minutes are usually posted and distributed electronically within two weeks following a meeting. Faculty members may petition for a referendum if there is strong opposition to an action taken by UAS.

Details regarding membership, responsibilities, and rules of procedures are given in the UAS By-laws which are incorporated into the Faculty Handbook.


1. Undergraduate Degree Programs

Program Name Degree Options
Accounting BBA
Advertising/Public Relations BA, BS
Anthropology BA, BS
Art Education BA, BS
Art History BA
Athletic Training BS
Biology BA, BS
Biochemistry BS
Biomedical Sciences BS
Biopsychology BA, BS
Broadcasting BA, BS
Business Economics BBA
Cell and Molecular Biology BS
Chemistry BS
Chinese Studies BA
Classics BA
Communications BA, BS
Comprehensive Science and Arts BA, BS
Computer Engineering BSE
Computer Science BS
Criminal Justice BA, BS
Dance BA
Diagnostic Medical Sonography BS
Earth Science BS
Economics BA, BS
Electrical Engineering BSE
Engineering BSE
English BA
Entrepreneurship BBA
Exercise Science BS
Film and Video BA
Finance BBA
French BA
General Business BBA
General Management BBA
Geochemistry BS
Geography BA, BS
Geology BS
German BA
Greek BA
Health Communications BA, BS
Health Professions BS
History BA, BS
Hospitality and Tourism Management BA, BS
Human Resources Management BBA
Information Systems BS
Interdisciplinary Engineering BSE
International Business BBA
International Relations BA
Journalism BA, BS
Latin BA
Legal Studies BA, BS
Liberal Studies BA, BS
Management BBA
Marketing BBA
Mathematics BA, BS
Mechanical Engineering BSE
Medical Imaging/Radiation Sciences BS
Medical Lab Science BS
Music BA, BM, BME
Natural Resource Management BS
Nursing BSN
Occupational Safety & Health Management BS
Operations Management  BBA
Philosophy BA
Photography BA
Physical Education BS
Physics BS
Political Science BA, BS
Product Design and Manufacturing Engineering BSE
Psychology BA, BS
Public and Nonprofit Administration BA, BS
Radiation Therapy BS
Radiologic and Imaging Sciences BS
Religious Studies BA, BS
Sciences Group Major BS
Social Science Group Major BA, BS
Social Work BSW
Sociology BA, BS
Spanish BA
Special Education Psychology BA, BS
Statistics BA, BS
Studio Art BA, BS, BFA
Supply and Chain Management BBA
Theatre BA
Therapeutic Recreation BS
Women and Gender Studies BA, BS
Writing BA

2. Graduate Degree Programs

Program Name Degree Options
Accounting MSA
Biology MS
Biomedical Sciences MHS
Biostatistics MS
Business/Nursing MBA/MSN
Cell & Molecular Biology MS
Communications MS
Computer Information Systems MS
Criminal Justice MS
Educational Leadership MED
Educational Technology MED
English MAE
Engineering MSE
Finance MBA
General Business MBA
General Education MED
Health Administration MHA
Higher Education MED
Instruction and Curriculum MED
Literacy Studies MED
Medical & Bioinformatics MS
Medical Dosimetry MS
Nursing MSN
Occupational Therapy MS
Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership MPNL
Physician Assistant Studies MPAS
Public Administration MPA
Public Health MPH
School Counseling MED
School Psychology MS
Social Work MSW
Special Education MED
Speech Language Pathology MS
Taxation MST

3. Specialist Degree Program

Program Name Degree
Educational Specialist in Leadership Ed.S.
School Psychology Psy.S.

4. Doctoral Degree Program

Program Name Degree
Nursing Practice DNP
Physical Therapy DPT

5. Major Programs Leading to Teaching Certification

Elementary Level Secondary Level
Biology Biology
French Chemistry
History Earth/Space Science
Language Arts English
Mathematics French
Integrated Science German
Social Sciences Group Major History
Spanish Mathematics
K - 12 Social Studies
Art Education Spanish
Music (BME only) Computer Science
Physical Education Latin
Psychology/Special Education  

D. Academic Policies

1. Academic Standards

Grand Valley is an academic institution dedicated to providing the highest level of quality instruction possible. Academic standards, levels of scholastic achievement, and grading systems are established on a university-wide basis after careful review by representative faculty members and the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

2. Academic Calendar

The University operates on a semester system, providing for fall and winter semesters and spring/ summer session. Each semester is a minimum of 15 weeks in length, including days required for final examination. The spring/summer session will be 12 weeks in length, including two 6-week sessions. Each session is academically equivalent to the 15-week semester. All academic units operate on the semester system.

Page last modified May 6, 2015