Of Course They Operate Like Businesses – They ARE Businesses

Source: Endowments Boom as Colleges Bury Earnings Overseas – The New York Times I commented. I’m a former math professor who taught at Washington U. in St. Louis. From my vantage point, It is a sad statement for our society that this article is news at all, but I do hope that it will wake […]

Op-Ed in NY Times: “Stop Universities From Hoarding Money”  My Take: Good suggestion, but by itself, it won’t change the fundamental problem.

They pay lavish fees to manage their wealth, while tuition keeps rising. Source: Stop Universities From Hoarding Money – The New York Times My take: (Also, click on the Tag Endowments for more on this topic.) Good suggestion, but by itself, it won’t change the fundamental problem. The problem is not just money. After all, […]

FedEx Closing in on Stanford

Earning season is upon us, so I compared FedEx’s yearly income to Stanford’s “change in net assets” (They are a non-profit, so they only have to count how much more they are worth.) In the most recent fiscal year, Stanford’s change in net assets was $3.5 Billion. FedEx’s profit was $2.1 Billion. Here are the links […]

Do the Richest (Universities) Have Enough? And A Contest for Grads:)

Rich colleges and universities are getting a lot richer, study finds – The Washington Post. You can explore further by clicking on “endowments” in the Tag Cloud (on the right).  I especially recommend this post for some financial facts that surprise many; or, if you are familiar with financial statements, look at schools like Stanford.  […]

Washington U. in St. Louis is a Standout on NY Times Graph – See Why

Look at this article for the graph. Making Top Colleges Less Aristocratic and More Meritocratic – NYTimes.com. What is interesting is how Wash. U. brags that they do the opposite of what the graph shows.  Look here for what I mean by that. I posted this comment on the Times article.  (Someone didn’t agree what I wrote and […]

Do Private Universities Face Financial Pressure? Certainly, Not All

Someone made this comment: “Private U[niversitities face a lot of pressure tor retain students, who then become alums and contribute to the school. A lot of pressure to retain tuition paying students” Here was my response:  (I should have qualified this statement by adding that some private schools do have financial problems.) “I don’t see […]

Education First? or, Endowment First?

There is a new post on the Economist site (http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/02/higher-education-0) that discusses new research on how universities spend their endowments when times are hard, and when times are good.  Essentially, they “hoard” as much as  possible, no matter what.  The article summarizes the paper better than I can here. I also recommend looking at the paper. […]

Are Trustees Too Focused On Investments to the Detriment of the Educational Mission?

Here is a link to an article about university endowments, followed by my comments and some interesting links. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/dartmouth-controversy-reflects-quandary-for-endowments/ What worries me the most about the size of university investment funds and its effects on Board members is not just that there may be conflicts of interest, but that some university endowments have become so huge that […]