GV Fund supports campus resources

Grand Valley State University provides many resources for students, such as the Career Center, Student Academic Success Center, Tutoring Center and Counseling Center. It may come as a surprise to many that these departments are funded mainly through donations.

Jill Dooley, senior director of annual giving and alumni relations, said the University Development office collects donations for the Grand Valley Fund, which raised more than $11 million for designated scholarships, programs and specific projects in 2014. More than 15,000 alumni, parents, faculty and staff members, retirees, friends of the university and students contributed to this amount.

“It goes to help areas of the university that get funded from the university’s budget, for students to access greater resources here at Grand Valley,” Dooley said. “It’s what we call an unrestricted fund that we encourage donors to give to. It’s open for anyone to support.”

Although the University Development office is in charge of collection, it is the Provost Office that allocates the private gift money to various departments on campus. Dooley said this office determines where the money will go based on what the students need.

“They look at where to best make sure our students get the most help, where to make the biggest impact and where are the greatest needs from a university perspective,” Dooley said.

Dooley added that the fund changes every year in order to be flexible with student needs.

Kathy Gulembo, assistant vice president for academic affairs, explained how the Grand Valley Fund allocates money. Gulembo said vice presidents review annual budget requests from university departments.

“Appointing officers work with department heads, faculty and staff to develop requests that are consistent with their respective unit’s mission, vision and values,” she said. “The vice presidents then prioritize the requests and submit the requests to the University Budget Committee.”

The Board of Trustees approves the new budget in July, and then the money is distributed to the campus department with no limits to the amount of funding each department receives as long as it does not exceed the funds available, Gulembo said.

Michael Messner, assistant vice provost for student success, said the department sends a budget request to the university that highlights what they need every year. The tutoring center receives money from a designated fund, which is part of the university’s general fund. How often the tutoring center receives money depends on when people donate.

“If people put money into that fund, it shows up as indirect funding within our account,” Messner said. “This is additional money to supplement. That money isn’t the only money we have.”

He added that many people will donate to this fund because they had a positive experience being tutored or tutoring others.

“The money goes to students helping other students,” Messner said. “The bulk of what we do is around academic and structural support. Tutoring is a large amount of it.”

The SASC provides drop-in and scheduled tutoring services, academic advising, targeted programs for student athletes and hosts academic success workshops throughout the year.

www.gvsu.edu/giving/grand-valley-fund-3.htm for more information about the Grand Valley Fund. To learn more about academic resources, visit www.gvsu.edu/sasc/

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