To all Students, Faculty and Staff:
The end of fall semester is upon us, with Thanksgiving, final examinations and Commencement coming soon. There is much to do before the end of the year, but this is also a time to take stock, reflect, and be thankful. To those who are graduating, please accept my congratulations for a job well done. I look forward to greeting you in person on December 8.
This has been another challenging year for public higher education finance in Michigan. State aid to universities was cut by 15% last year, and this year's base funding remains at that reduced level. There are continued issues in our economy. That is why we have been diligent about setting our own course for the future. Despite the challenges we will continue to provide a high quality and relevant education. I am committed to fulfill our promises to those who choose Grand Valley.
Three significant construction projects enable our efforts in creating the learning environment -- The Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons in Allendale and the L. William Seidman Center in Grand Rapids -- are on track for their 2013 opening. These dramatic new facilities have been made possible because of generous private support from those who believe in, and invest in, Grand Valley. When the new library is completed, we will remodel the Zumberge Library to accommodate business and administrative functions that are presently located in classroom buildings around campus. This shift in location will allow us to reclaim academic space for additional classrooms and faculty offices -- a win-win for everyone. Tuition will not be raised to pay for construction of these facilities.
These are just a few of the many developments that make Grand Valley such a remarkable place to learn and to work. Our high quality academic programs, our focus on student success, our financial stability, and the help we receive from alumni and from the communities that host our campuses, combine to make Grand Valley one of the "Best in the Midwest." That accolade, along with many others, would not be ours but for the hard work and commitment of our Board, faculty and staff, the diligence of our students, and the confidence of those we serve. At Grand Valley we are led by learning and I am optimistic about our future.
Marcia and I extend our very warmest wishes for the holidays and a joyous New Year.
Thomas J. Haas