Board of Trustees vote to freeze 2011 housing rates

President Thomas Haas and Trusee Michael Thomas at Fridays Board of Trustees meeting

Nicole Lamson

President Thomas Haas and Trusee Michael Thomas at Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting

Anya Zentmeyer

For the first time in university history, Grand Valley State University’s Board of Trustees voted on Friday to freeze on-campus housing rates at their 2010 rates for the fall of 2011.

Andy Beachnau, director of Housing, said much of the decision was based on the tough economic times plaguing Michigan families and students.

Beachnau added given the variety of housing and dining options, Housing aims to give the students the flexibility to control their costs, and this rate freeze is just another way to help students save.

GVSU wants to be a responsible leader in providing services that complement students’ academic and personal success,” he said. “Given the recent economic situation in Michigan, this was the right thing to do.”

The historical motion applies to both new students or returning students living on campus next fall.

“Our goal is to keep higher education accessible and affordable for those who want to study at Grand Valley,” said President Thomas J. Haas. “Our board leads the way in fiscal responsibility and doing the right thing when it comes to our students. We know how families are struggling right now, and we are so pleased to be able to freeze room rates for students who will be living on campus in the coming year.”

Along the same vein, Haas’ presentation of the Dashboard Report and Accountability Report at Friday’s meeting showed GVSU is living within its means – an important factor for sustaining growth.

“Grand Valley is guided by our outcomes and the desired result,” Haas said. “We prioritize. We strategically budget. We’re also living within our means. And the fundamental reason is we must – and we will – focus on delivering graduates who stay in Michigan.”

Despite receiving the least amount of state funding per student, GVSU has been able to maintain a tuition rate that is below the state average. During his accountability report, Haas said he has testified before state legislative committees that he would reduce tuition by 5 percent if the lawmakers in Lansing would appropriate the minimum floor funding to GVSU that they have agreed in principle to award each Michigan student.

“Grand Valley students and their families deserve fair treatment from the state,” Haas said. “We need a rational and predictable partnership with Lansing.”

Enrollment in Michigan’s 15 public universities increased in the last decade by more than 25,000, with 23 percent of that growth attributed to GVSU, making the university a top performer in higher education growth.

The report also showed the university as having the largest share of the 10,000 increase in degrees awarded by Michigan’s public universities over the last decade with 22 percent of that belonging to GVSU.

To view the full Dashboard Report and Accountability Report, visit

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