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President Haas addresses administrative costs

Posted on April 07, 2011

The following email, from President Thomas J. Haas, was sent to Grand Valley State University students, faculty and staff on April 5, 2011.

Dear Colleagues:

Some confusing news stories last week may have left you with the impression that Grand Valley State University has greatly increased the number of administrators working on our campuses. I want to set the record straight. We have hired no unnecessary employees, nor have we awarded large pay raises. In fact, just the opposite is true.

In the past decade, enrollment at Grand Valley has risen by 54% -- more than at any university in Michigan.  We have added faculty and staff to serve those additional students, but today have exactly the same ratio of faculty and staff to students that we had a decade ago. 

Our faculty and staff understand that times are tight for our students and their families. One hundred percent of Grand Valley's faculty and staff are on a salary freeze this year, a freeze that follows years of very modest salary adjustments. All faculty and staff now bear 20% or more of the cost of their health insurance. At the same time, more than half our faculty and staff have made voluntary gifts to our scholarship and student aid funds.  I am honored to be part of a campus community that puts students first.

We are grateful for the support we receive from our students, from donors, and from taxpayers. You should know that Grand Valley receives the lowest funding per student among Michigan's public universities and that our tuition is well below the state average. Yet our performance measures show Grand Valley to be one of the state's top universities. You will find more about this in our Accountability Report. Click here to see the report.

Here are some other facts that you may find of interest: 

·         Grand Valley serves 25% more students per employee than the
          Michigan university average

·         Administrative costs at Grand Valley, as a percentage of the
          budget, are unchanged over the past decade

·         Careful financial management has reduced the university's
          operating cost per degree by 15%

·         State appropriations used to comprise 75% of our revenue.
          Today, state funds have dropped to 20% and may fall to 17%,
          further shifting the operating costs of the university from
          taxpayers to students

·         Grand Valley has expanded its fund raising and economic
          development activities, performing work formerly done by the
          State of Michigan in better times.  We will continue to be an
          even more valuable partner to the communities that host our

Please feel free to forward this message to your family and friends.  I hope you share my pride in our great university. 

Very respectfully,

Thomas J. Haas


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