Originally published March 14, 2012

Grand Valley State University President Thomas J. Haas testified before Lansing legislators yesterday for the sixth time during his leadership at the university to appeal for more higher education funding.

“At Grand Valley, we have reduced the cost of each degree by 14 percent as compared to a decade ago,” Haas said to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education. “Our tuition is below the state average — a direct savings to our students of nearly $2,500 a year. In West Michigan, we’re responsible for more than three-quarters of a billion dollars in economic activity that has created 10,000 private sector jobs.”

This time, though, Haas did not have to talk up the traditionally underfunded university because, as he said, Gov. Rick Snyder and some lawmakers have already done so.

“In each of their proposals for formula funding, Grand Valley has received the highest possible ranking — for our high graduation rates, for the breadth and quality of our academic programs, for our commitment to financial aid, for a tuition rate below the state average, for efficient cost of operations and for economic impact to our state,” he said.

The president encouraged the lawmakers to work with universities to keep higher education affordable and accessible to anyone willing to pursue it.

“Enrollment in Michigan’s universities is at an all-time high and the ration of state funding is at an all-time low,” he said. “Let us work together to narrow the gap, ensure quality, sustain access to educational opportunity for citizens helping them attain their degrees, and bring honor to the spirit of our Constitution.”


Original publication: http://www.lanthorn.com/article/2012/03/haas_appeals_to_state_for_more_funding