Every penny counts

Within the past two years, Grand Valley State University has seen its students forced to swallow larger bumps in tuition, its faculty members take voluntary pay freezes and its state funding drop to an all-time low. Without question, these are tough times for GVSU, as well as the rest of Michigan.

But while an end to GVSU’s financial strain seems far off, the university would do well to follow in the footsteps of its Athletics Department, which saved about $11,000 by using ooVoo, a Web-based video chat service, to conduct preliminary interviews for three positions this past summer.

This university hangs its hat on sustainability and sustainable practices, which is a noble purpose indeed, but students often cannot directly feel the effects of some of the sustainable practices that the university promotes. However, in the form of ooVoo and other video chat services GVSU has the opportunity to promote a sustainable practice that directly impacts the bottom line and benefits the entire GVSU community.

Imagine what administration could do if it didn’t have to spend money on lodging, travel, food and entertainment expenses for job candidates. Some of the money could be funneled into the Counseling Cente, which recently had to cap individual appointments at six per year. Some of the money could go toward decreasing the portion of their deductible that faculty and staff pay into their health care plans. Maybe they can even get a little wiggle room to give them the raises they deserve.

Implementing and promoting a concept like using ooVoo instead of utilizing valuable resources needlessly probably isn’t going to stave off another tuition increase, but the potential savings the university could incur by doing so should not be overlooked, especially considering the way Michigan’s economy stands now.