Governor's Budget Proposal assists GVSU
February 17, 2012
Best in the state? Gov. Rick Snyder's performance bonus to GVSU tops all other public universities
Published: Monday, February 13, 2012, 5:22 PM Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 10:37 AM
Press File PhotoIn this September 2011 photo, Grand Valley State University students switch classes on the Allendale campus. Gov. Rick Snyder's budget proposal gave GVSU the biggest performance bonus out of Michigan's 15 public universities.
ALLENDALE --- Grand Valley State University administrators have reason to celebrate now that Gov. Rick Snyder has unveiled his budget proposal.
The governor’s plan includes a one-time bonus for each of Michigan's 15 public universities based on how well they performed in what Snyder considers important areas for higher education ---- and GVSU's bonus is at the top of the list.
“The confirmation of GVSU’s high quality, our talented students and our administrative efficiency is confirmed for all to see,” said Matt McLogan, vice president for University Relations.
He said GVSU’s proposed one-time bonus of $3.9 million is based upon the following factors: the number of degrees awarded over the past several years, degrees awarded in fields such as science, technology, engineering and math, the number of students who receive Pell grants and “compliance with tuition restraint.”
The bonus is important not just because it’s a symbol of GVSU’s performance, but because it’s the first time in years that state funding for higher education has grown, McLogan said.
“For the first time in more than a decade, we’re not having a discussion about how much to cut the higher education appropriation,” he said. “I hope the era of cutting is over and next year and in the future we’ll be talking about investing in Michigan’s higher education institutions.”
Last year, Snyder’s budget included a 15 percent reduction in state aid. Under the governor’s proposed budget for next fiscal year, state aid would remain flat, bringing GVSU’s appropriation to $52.6 million.
The bonus would boost GVSU’s total state aid to $56.6 million, a 7.6 percent increase.
Michael Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, said while he supports performance metrics, a long term funding plan for higher education is needed.
“One of the biggest pitfalls is sustainability,” he said. “The biggest issue with the governor’s money is its one time money.”
Other universities that fared well under the governor’s funding formula include Ferris State University, which received a $2.5 million bonus. It provided a 6.2 percent boost --- second only to GVSU --- to its state aid appropriation of $41.3 million.
Michigan’s three major research universities benefited the least from the performance bonuses.
University of Michigan and Michigan State University received a 1.4 percent increase from their payments, while Wayne State University got a .9 percent bump.
GVSU administrators said they were pleased the governor’s formula for determining the bonuses recognized areas such as the number of degrees awarded. It’s an area the university has excelled in, rewarding 4,058 in the 2010-2011 academic year --- approximately twice as many as GVSU handed out in 2000.
“If any analytical exercise includes things like graduation rates, degrees (awarded), commitment to students, I expected we would do very well,” McLogan said. “That’s the Grand Valley story.”
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