GVSU President Thomas J Haas: Enrollment up, graduates staying in Michigan

Nov 6, 2017

Grand Valley State University President Thomas J. Haas delivered his 11th annual accountability report Friday to the University's Board of Trustees, highlighting a number of successes the university has achieved in the past year. 

Haas said in a time when West Michigan is recruiting talent and skilled workers to the area, he was proud to report that most GVSU graduates are choosing to stay in Michigan when they enter the workforce.

“We have now 86 percent of our recent graduates who are employed right here in Michigan. And we also make sure there is some connectivity with our business community and our not for profit community with internships and co-ops programs and the like so it’s a real nice tapestry, that we are really trying to develop to support the region and the talent that it needs,” Haas said.   

He also noted that while enrollment is down at other area colleges, Grand Valley State University’s enrollment has had 4000 freshman enroll for the sixth straight year, coupled with a record number of students of color.

“Much of it really is word of mouth in addition to marketing," Haas said. "We see a third of our students come from the Southeast, we have a great population here in the Southwest, but now we are attracting great students from Illinois, and Indiana and Ohio, so what we are doing is getting the word out that we are a place that you want to invest in. So I think it is a combination of that relevancy and that value proposition. “

Grand Valley has now the third highest enrollment in the state of Michigan, trailing only behind the University of Michigan and Michigan State. 

Board Trustee John Russell praised Haas at the meeting for his report. 

“Tom, to you and the team, this is one of the best accountability reports I have ever seen in business or academics," Russell said. "You continue to do it with the same transparency, the same openness and the same detail, I want to give you credit I think this is best in class.”