Frustrated by funding

Headline: Frustrated by funding

Subhead: GV deserves additional funding for performance rankings

It’s no secret that, for the most part, Lakers like Grand Valley State University. We brag about our location, we love our campus and we are somewhat oddly obsessed with our university president. It’s only natural thatwe want everyone else to love us, too—including Michigan representatives.

Though GVSU continually shows growth in enrollment, impressive performance metrics and an overall high university satisfaction rating, we still receive the second lowest amount of federal funding for a public university from the state of Michigan.

For the first time, we finally see some financial promise on the horizon, but we’re not there yet. Although Gov. Rick Snyder has recommended GVSU for a 3.4 percent increase in state funding, the highest increase among all the universities, the Michigan House and Senate still have to approve the request. In past years, we have seen they rarely keep what the governor recommends and more often than not lower the percentage of increase. We hope, as members of the university, that our high performance records are taken into consideration when it comes to planning the budget for 2018.

Currently, GVSU has a graduation rate of 70 percent, compared to schools such as Wayne State University with only 32 percent and Northern Michigan University with 48 percent (both of which receive significantly more funding than GVSU). Looking at just the facts, we believe that our university has shown year and year again that we are exceeding expectations, a feat that should be recognized through state funding.

Additionally, our university has made great efforts to immerse itself not only in the Grand Rapids community but also throughout Michigan as a whole. From our partnerships with Wayne State University to the expansion of our health education in Grand Rapids, we have proven that we are here to stay and here to contribute to the professional world while enrolled at GVSU and beyond.

We know that if the state were to adopt an allocation process based on performance, there would be schools that would suffer from a large decrease in funding. We don’t want this—we know the struggle of being a college student, and we don’t want other schools to lose funding. However, the state needs to come up with a way to award those with performance metrics instead of awarding schools just because they’ve been around longer.

While we appreciate the contributions from our personal benefactors and other sources of financial support, GVSU is following all the rules and deserves to be rewarded for that. Our university is not only continuing to grow in size but is also emerging alongside University of Michigan and Michigan State University as one of the top schools in the state. With this growth comes the need to fund the students who have chosen GVSU as their top choice. Without proper funds, it is difficult to make resources available to all students.

We consistently put up the best numbers in the state yet aren’t rewarded for it. It’s time GVSU Lakers—students, faculty, staff and administration—are recognized and rewarded for their hard work to make our university better.