ERIC Number: ED559301
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Endowment Spending: Building a Stronger Policy Framework
Sedlacek, Verne O.; Jarvis, William F.
A large and growing body of work exists on the subject of endowment investing, but the equally important topic of endowment spending is treated less often. While the degree to which endowed institutions depend on their endowment for budgetary support varies widely, the market crisis of 2008-09 demonstrated that failure by the endowment to provide the expected level of cash support to the institution's operating budget can seriously undermine the mission--and, perhaps, the viability--of the institution. Yet the two major market declines of the last decade have also exposed significant weaknesses in prevailing endowment spending policies and practices, as spending methodologies have failed to protect endowment institutions against excessive volatility in the financial support they obtain from their endowments. This paper will analyze and discuss the following issues, using data from the 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments® ("NCSE"), a comprehensive survey of financial, investment, and governance practices at 842 colleges and universities: (1) what is the current state of endowment investment and spending practice?; (2) What are the key variables in endowment spending?; (3) What are the emerging trends in spending rates and policies?; (4) What role is played by other sources of funds such as gifts and government funding?; (5) What alternatives to current practice are available; and (6) what are the implications for future spending practice? The following are appended: (1) Shifting to the Banded Inflation Spending Rule; (2) About the Authors; and (3) About Commonfund Institute and Commonfund.
Descriptors: Endowment Funds, Higher Education, Educational Finance, Expenditures, Investment, Trend Analysis, Financial Policy, Financial Support
Commonfund Institute. 15 Old Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897. Tel: 203-563-5000; Tel: 888-823-6246; Web site: http://www.commonfund.org
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: Commonfund Institute