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ERIC Number: EJ899984
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0560
Conveying the Meaning of the Economic Crisis
Anderson, Luke A.
New Directions for Higher Education, n151 p15-27 Fall 2010
In the late summer of 2008, after the 2007-2008 fiscal year's books had closed, the nation's wealthiest universities were confronted with an unfamiliar sight: single-digit endowment returns. Not since 2003 had Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey), or Stanford University (Stanford, California) earned less than a 16 percent annual return on their rapidly expanding investment portfolios. The broad S&P 500 Index had lost 13.1 percent during the year, and the Trust Universe Comparison Service, a large group of investing institutions against which many university endowments measure themselves, had a median return of negative 4.4 percent. Against this bleak backdrop, Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford managed to outpace all indices, achieving positive 8.6, 5.6, and 6.2 percent returns, respectively. Their endowments had each grown, although by a more modest margin than in recent years, to all-time highs, led by Harvard's record sum of $36.9 billion. It had been a challenging year in some sectors of the financial markets, but through investment diversification and the expertise of their teams of money managers, all three universities had emerged unscathed. This chapter documents the early public reactions of the presidents of these three universities to the financial crisis and identifies themes and disparities in the framing of the problem and the evolving remedies presented by each administration over the remainder of the tumultuous 2008-2009 academic year. (Contains 2 figures and 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Massachusetts; New Jersey