Universities Gain More Endowments After 2009 Losses

In 2009, the recession put a heavy strain on university endowments, but things seem to be turning around, according to the comprehensive Nacubo-Commonfund Study of Endowments, released last Wednesday.

The value of endowments increased an average of 11.9 percent for the fiscal year of 2010, which ended in June, nearly making up for 2009’s losses. They decreased an average of 18.7 percent in the last fiscal year. The gains follow a 14.4 percent increase of the S&P 500, a commonly-used stock performance benchmark.

Increases in endowments varied greatly. Syracuse University gained the most with an endowment of $850 million; a jump of 29 percent. Schools with the largest endowments, Harvard and Yale, gained less than 10 percent. Harvard University, with an endowment of 28 billion, increased 5.4 percent, and Yale University, with an endowment of $17 billion, was up two percent.

Only one school in the survey found losses in 2010. Baylor University $871 million endowment slumped at a mere 0.9 percent.

While this may bring some relief to college budgets, this turn around hasn’t put endowments back to their pre-recession levels.

“Despite this great year, endowments have not recovered all that they lost,” John D. Walda said, chief executive officer of Nacubo, a membership organization of college business officers. “The median endowment has declined from $88 million in fiscal 2008 to $72.9 million in fiscal 2010.”

Via The New York Times

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