A new Grand Valley State University report on its graduates shows Michigan’s taxpayers are getting a great return on investment. Of recent graduates, 88 percent are employed or pursuing advanced degrees. Of those working 84 percent are employed in Michigan. The report also shows a one-year, 18 percent increase in Grand Valley graduates who are working in West Michigan — that number went from 58 percent to 76 percent.
President Thomas J. Haas makes the point that the university is a job creator in two ways — by hiring the needed faculty and staff to serve students, and by educating the students who will help move Michigan forward by creating and filling jobs in the new global economy.
“Grand Valley is providing graduates for jobs, while employing people to help produce those graduates,” Haas said. “We are meeting the state’s needs by providing the workers employers tell us they need, and we’re doing it in a cost efficient manner. We are obligated to serve our students, but if you look at the numbers, our hiring rate, while up, has not increased proportionate to our enrollment.”
Grand Valley’s administrative costs, as a percent of the budget, are actually unchanged from 1994-95, while at the same time, our cost per degree awarded has dropped by 15 percent.
In the last decade, Grand Valley’s enrollment shot up 53.9 percent, eclipsing enrollment growth at all of Michigan’s public universities, and the number of graduates also more than doubled. Grand Valley is now the state’s sixth largest university with nearly 25,000 students on five campuses.
The university has hired faculty and staff to support that tremendous growth in students. Nearly all of Grand Valley’s personnel changes are the result of hiring more faculty, advisors and counselors to serve the growing student body. Grand Valley has also launched additional student-centered programs that have succeeded in improving retention and graduation rates.
Grand Valley is third in the state regarding freshman to sophomore retention and fourth in the state in graduation rates.
Among Michigan’s 15 public universities, Grand Valley’s per-student state funding ranks 15th, while its tuition ranks 9th, below the state average.
These facts and more are available at www.gvsu.edu/accountability.