Grand Valley State University

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Is everybody at Grand Valley State University just ridiculously friendly and cheery? Is this a thing?

Even in the student club for women who have an extremely high risk of breast cancer, meetings are less Lifetime-movies-about-sadness-and-sisterhood and more like Legally Blonde: a dozen women laughing self-consciously through dance aerobics in leggings and breast-cancer pink tank tops.

User: Ken Colwell / flickr

Are the liberal arts becoming too politicized? Are politics – and political ideology – taking too strong a hold on higher education?

A growing number of academics worry that the answer may be "yes."

With that in mind, there's a three-day summit coming up at Grand Valley State University. It's billed as "A Meeting of Minds, Left and Right," exploring these questions.

We were joined today by Gleaves Whitney. He's the director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University.

GVSU play one of their "Music in Our Parks" selections.
GVSU / YouTube

After two years of planning, the New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University is launching a new project. It’s called “Music in Our Parks.”

The project shows us how nature and landscape affect the process of making music. Here's a video promoting their effort:

Bill Ryan is the director of Grand Valley State University’s New Music Ensemble. He was joined on our program by one of the members of the New Music Ensemble, percussionist and senior music performance major, Josh Dreyer.

*Listen to the interview above.

user: sylvar / Flickr

Grand Valley State University plans to reinstall a campus sculpture by December 6. 

The sculpture was removed on September 17 because students began to ride it.

The 'riding-the-ball' trend was in response to Miley Cyrus's hit single "Wrecking Ball." In the video, Cyrus is naked and rides the wrecking ball as it swings back and forth.

Apparently, the Grand Valley ball was not up to the task. The University said the steel cable that the ball was hung from began to fray, and the sculpture was removed.

Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith spoke with Tim Thimmesch, the associate vice president for facility services at GVSU. After the sculpture was removed Thimmesch said they would meet with "select students this week to get input on the best options to reinstall the piece."

“The intent is not for anybody to continue to use this as a ride. Again the intent will be to have this reinstalled as a scientific exhibit,” Thimmesch said.

And that's what we really want to know more about, right? The science behind this ball?

https://vine.co/v/h1H3leHbvKK / Nicci Joyce

This week officials at Grand Valley State University will begin meeting to consider how to reinstall a sculpture that became the subject of several viral videos this month.

GVSU removed the steel pendulum a few weeks ago after several students posted videos online of friends trying to swing on the sculpture. The parodies of Miley Cyrus’ music video “Wrecking Ball” attracted national news media attention.

“It is somewhat of a fun story. It's college students being college students,” said Tim Thimmesch, associate vice president for facility services at GVSU.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The clock is ticking closer to a federal government shutdown.

Spokespeople for several Michigan universities say they're waiting to see what kind of an effect a federal government shutdown may have on their institutions.

Michigan’s universities and colleges get hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government every year.

But it’s unclear how much, if any, of that money will actually be held up if the government does shut down.  

gvsu.edu

What's the state of entrepreneurship in West Michigan?

That's the question tackled in a new report from Grand Valley State University's Seidman College of Business. It finds that in just four years, there's been a big change in the way people think about being entrepreneurs.

We wanted to take a closer look at that changing mindset and find out what it means not only for West Michigan, but for the state.

Paul Iseley is chairman of the economics department at Grand Valley State's Seidman College of Business. He joined us today from GVSU.

Listen to the full interview above.

Elizabeth Lienau / Grand Valley State University

Economists predict the economy in West Michigan will grow at a slow but steady pace this year.

“I mean we’re really looking at another year that feels like last year which isn’t so bad,” Paul Isley, chair of Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business, said.

“We're growing here in West Michigan. We have a potential that by the end of this year at least some areas of West Michigan will finally be above, employment wise, where we were in 2000, which will be really a hallmark,” Isley said.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

An 8-ton research buoy that’s been floating around Lake Michigan collecting detailed data about wind conditions offshore has been brought back on land for the winter.  With the mild winter the buoy stayed about four miles offshore for twice as long as researchers expected; 58 days instead of 30. 

Turning data over to researchers

Arn Boezaart heads the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center that’s operating the buoy from Muskegon. He’s been able to see 10 minute averages of wind conditions in real time. But now that the buoy is back on land, he’s got data cards with wind data for every second the buoy was out there; plus data on bats and birds that flew by.

 “I literally keep looking at this plastic bag in my brief case with this data card sitting in it and thinking ‘people don’t realize how valuable this is,” Boezaart said. “I sort of feel like I’m carrying gold bars in my case here. This is really first of its kind data.”

GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Police reports say Grand Valley State University officers continued firearms training at a West Michigan gun range after a first report that stray bullets may have struck a home about a half-mile away.

The Grand Rapids Press reports Friday that the documents it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the officers were midway through a training session Sept. 29 when a man drove up saying his house had been hit by two bullets.

The police reports say officers at the North Ottawa Rod and Gun Club's rifle range in Grand Haven Township relocated training to an adjacent pistol range.

Later police would learn a contractor working in a nearby development was wounded in the arm.

Allendale-based Grand Valley State University says it's launched an internal investigation.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

An eight ton research buoy is out gathering wind data in Lake Michigan. The $1.3 million buoy launched in Muskegon Friday will collect detailed wind data over the next ten years.

Chris Hart is an Offshore Wind Manager at the U.S. Department of Energy.  He says there’s only three of these high tech bouys in the world. This was the first one launched in the United States. He says the data will be more detailed than anything they have now.