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NACUBO Statement on Endowment Inquiry


Washington, DC—National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) President and CEO John Walda today released the following statement regarding the inquiry sent to 56 colleges and universities on the status of their endowments by the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Ways and Means Committee.

"NACUBO is certain that the information colleges and universities share with policymakers will strengthen their understanding of college and university endowments and will demonstrate the prudent practices through which higher-education institutions manage their endowments.

As NACUBO reported on January 27, based upon the findings of the 2015 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE), the fact that schools have been able to raise their endowment dollars as state support has diminished and financial markets have turned turbulent is a testament to the endowment managers and others on campus who are doing all they can to meet the needs of students and faculty.

Endowments saw substantially lower one year returns—2.4 percent in FY15 versus 15.5 percent in FY14— however 78 percent of NCSE participating institutions increased spending, with a median increase in spending dollars of 8.8 percent (among those who increased spending). These increases benefited students and faculty at many schools with more endowment dollars for financial aid, research, and other vital programs.

Institutions across the country are also facing increased student expectations, rising labor costs, a growing variety of instructional delivery systems, and more stringent government regulations.  These and many other forces are reshaping higher education. The way institutions respond today to each of these pressures in delivering on their educational missions will determine their financial condition not only now but also in the future."