State legislature forces GV transparency online

Lizzy Balboa

In accordance with Michigan Public Act 201 of 2012, Grand Valley State University updated its website Dec. 21 to include a comprehensive page of university reports.

Budget and Finance Assistant Kay Klosowski assembled the webpage, but she said a few areas collaborated to compile the information.

Visitors to the site will find the university’s accountability report, university performance report, annual audited financial reports, annual operating budget, summary of current expenditures, campus security policies and crime statistics, collective bargaining agreements, health care services benefit plans and a general fund position list.

Jeff Musser, assistant vice president for university budgets, said almost all of the information on the website was available online prior to the passing of the law, but not in a convenient central location. One exception to the available material was the list of employee salaries, which has only ever been accessible in the library.

Musser said he has not received or heard of any concerns about the online salary listing yet. He said he doesn’t think there are as many complaints as there are cases of people “just asking why.”

The human resources department of GVSU has dealt with employee concerns, though.

“The only reaction we’ve had—and we have over 3,000 people whose salary information we post — we may have heard from a dozen maybe who just think it is inappropriate that we have to post their salaries (online),” said Scott Richardson, associate vice president for human resources.

Richardson said the general feeling behind the complaints is that “it’s nobody’s business.”

“Since we’ve had salary information available for about 20 years in the library on campus, salaries aren’t a secret,” he said. “It’s not like we’ve been hiding it, it’s just that it wasn’t available on a website to the whole world.”

GVSU will not be capitalizing on the fresh accessibility of other state schools’ salary information, as Richardson said the university has compared GVSU salaries with those of other institutions for a while now.

“We’ve compared for a long time — well over 10 years using national data,” he said, adding that GVSU already tracks salary averages for in-state, peer and Midwest D-II universities. “One of our goals is to pay as competitively as we can.”

To view GVSU’s employee salary list among other university reports, visit the webpage at under “Section 245 Reporting.”

For more information about Public Act 201, visit and search for it under the Public Act (Signed Bills) page.
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