is expecting a roughly $11 billion endowment decline over the current academic year-- 30% of the total . . . [T]he university is in such a financial squeeze that it has frozen faculty salaries and offered retirement to 1,600 employees.Ouch. This is a problem when Harvard "gets about one-third of operating funds from its endowment." Unfortunately, the problem is not confined to Harvard; the outlook is not much better elsewhere.
As an interesting caveat, I also came across a study from the Council for Aid to Education, which surprisingly showed substantial gains in fundraising at many elite universities. The study notes that contributions to the top 20 fundraising institutions--which "account for only 1.9% of the 1,052 survey respondents, but represent 26.6% of all 2008 gifts to higher education institutions"--jumped 11.5% from 2007 numbers. The top five institutions were:
1. Stanford University ($785.04 million)The study includes a barrage of interesting statistics on university fundraising patterns (if you're into that sort of stuff). Specifically, it notes that the 2008 numbers are likely not sustainable in 2009--principally due to the economy. The numbers also beg the question--in the spirit of this blog--of how much the "trickle-down" effect might hurt law schools affiliated with these institutions.
2. Harvard University ($650.63 million)
3. Columbia University ($495.11 million)
4. Yale University ($486.61 million)
5. University of Pennsylvania ($475.96 million)