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Let's Consider Taxing Elite Colleges' Huge Endowments

Harvard, Yale, et al. are getting richer while state schools scramble: Slate writer

(Newser) - As the student-loan struggle continues and presidential candidates try to come up with ways to help middle-class and disadvantaged students attend college, there are stockpiles of money that are benefiting the most affluent, unfettered by government taxation: the endowments of elite colleges, Jordan Weissmann writes for Slate . And that's... More »

Companies Fund College Endowments to Woo Lawmakers

It's easy to stroke an ego in Congress

(Newser) - Surprise, surprise: Charlie Rangel's troubles prompted the New York Times to look into the ties between academia and politics, and things don't come off squeaky clean. At least a dozen current or former lawmakers have had endowments or chairs set up in their name, and those endowments were funded (usually... More »

Harvard Law Kills Free Tuition Program

Too many takers for deal that required 5 years of public service

(Newser) - Harvard Law School has suspended a free tuition program for students willing to work in public service after twice as many students as expected signed up. The Public Service Initiative, which waives tuition for students who pledge to work for the government or nonprofit organizations for 5 years after graduation,... More »

Harvard, Yale $18B Poorer as Endowments Drop 30%

(Newser) - Harvard and Yale remain the richest schools in the US, but both are getting a lesson in economics. The endowments of the Ivy Leaguer shrank by about 30% over the last year thanks to risky investments, reports Bloomberg. Harvard's fell $11 billion to $26 billion and Yale's dropped $7 billion... More »

Looking for Extra Credit, Schools Get Downgraded

(Newser) - The credit crunch is starting to hit even top-tier universities, the Wall Street Journal reports. Both Moody’s and S&P stripped Dartmouth of its AAA rating this week. It’s the 20th college Moody’s has downgraded this year. “That’s comparable to the rate of downgrades universities... More »

Wiesel: Put 'Psychopath' Madoff in Prison

(Newser) - Author and Nazi hunter Elie Wiesel, who lost $15.2 million in foundation money and a good chunk of his own fortune to Bernie Madoff, railed today against the “psychopath” financier, the New York Post reports. “He should be put in a solitary cell with a screen, and... More »

Nonprofits Look to Change Rules on Endowments

Meltdown forces tough choice: present survival or future value?

(Newser) - Nonprofits reeling from the market meltdown's impact on their investments are pushing to be allowed to tap endowment funds, many of which are off-limits because they've lost value, reports the Wall Street Journal. At issue is the balance between surviving the current crisis and spending funds that can never be... More »

It's Time to Endow Newspapers

Times begs for its life

(Newser) - Newspapers are dying, and there’s only one way to save them, write Yale's David Swensen and Michael Schmidt in today’s New York Times: Make them nonprofit, endowed institutions, like colleges. The Internet has made the for-profit model systematically unsustainable, and constant attempts to refinance and cut costs are... More »

Yale's Endowment Drops 25% to $17B

(Newser) - Yale's endowment is performing like those of other major universities: miserably. The Ivy League school said today that its fund had plunged 25%, or $5.9 billion, to $17 billion since July, the New Haven Independent reports. Yale's president warned of a $100 million budget shortfall in the 2009 school... More »

Harvard Endowment Drops $8B in Steepest Loss Ever

Endowment's record plunge threatens school operations

(Newser) - Harvard, the world's richest university, saw its endowment plunge 22% between June and October of this year, the worst loss in its history, the Boston Globe reports. Revenue generated by the endowment, which fell by $8 billion, pays for 35% of the school's operation, and Harvard president Drew Faust expects... More »

As Museums Struggle, LA's MOCA Seeks Merger

MoCA holds talks with other institutions as endowment dries up

(Newser) - The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, one of the nation's leading modern art galleries, is holding talks with other LA institutions about a possible merger. MoCA has already announced a 10% cut in staff and the temporary closure of 50% of its exhibition space. For the New York ... More »

Even Harvard, With $37B in Bank, Is Tightening Belt

President warns of budgetary reshuffling

(Newser) - Even its $36.9 billion endowment (as of June, that is) won't protect Harvard, the nation's richest university, from feeling the effects of the financial crisis, its president said yesterday. Drew Faust said cost savings would be in order, though specific plans aren’t settled, the Harvard Crimson reports. One... More »

Tough Times Ground Hedge Fund High-Fliers

Specialized investment industry dragged back to earth by shaky market

(Newser) - The recent market turmoil has taken a good deal of the shine off of hedge funds, as managers are unable to reproduce their heretofore exemplary results in poor market conditions, the New York Times reports. The average hedge fund lost 4% this year, the worst overall results in the industry’... More »

Broad Donates $400M for Gene Research

Record gift helps Harvard/MIT venture get to root of disease

(Newser) - Eli and Edythe Broad plan to donate $400 million more to the Massachusetts foundation they started 4 years ago to research the genetic causes of disease, the Boston Globe reports. “It's the biggest investment we've ever made,” said Broad, whose gift to the joint Harvard/MIT venture is the... More »

Harvard's Endowment Shines in Tough Financial Year

$35B fund sees modest 7%-9% growth

(Newser) - Harvard’s endowment did better than most in the down market, reports the Wall Street Journal. The $35 billion fund, which ended its fiscal year in June, earned 7% to 9%. “That would be easily the best performer among the foundations and endowments that we track," says a... More »

Pinched Oxford Wants $2.5B

Needs cash to compete with Ivy League

(Newser) - Prestigious Oxford University is pleading poverty and has begun a campaign to raise funds to make it competitive with Harvard, Yale, and Princeton for academic talent, reports the Christian Science Monitor. The university—actually a collection of individual colleges—aims to raise $2.5 billion, but even that is chump... More »

Rich Colleges Should Save Nation's Top Newspapers

Wealthy universities should get together, buy struggling dailies

(Newser) - The New York Times is in "perilous financial condition," and colleges would play the perfect savior, Lee Smith writes in the Chronicle for Higher Education. His plan: Have the seven richest institutions direct 3% of their endowments—which, combined, come to $114 billion— to buying the Gray Lady.... More »

Harvard Gets $100M From Rockefeller

Gift will fund study-abroad and arts programs

(Newser) - Harvard fund managers rejoice! The university will get to stock its coffers, already $35 billion strong, with a $100 million gift from David Rockefeller, the largest ever by an alumnus, the New York Times reports. The money will be used to expand the university's arts program and help more students... More »

NY Swears In New Gov; Paterson Calls for Unity

New head of state is funny but also solemn

(Newser) - David Paterson was sworn in as New York’s governor this afternoon and gave a speech that mixed humor and solemnity, the Albany Times-Union reports. “I never expected to have the honor of serving as governor,” said New York’s first black governor, who repeatedly stressed the importance... More »

Ivy Aid May Hit 2nd-Tier Schools

Big scholarships could siphon top students who couldn't afford Harvard

(Newser) - It’s easy to applaud the generosity the Ivy League is lavishing on the middle class, but it could have unintended consequences, Newsweek notes. Second-tier schools and elite public universities rely on the highly talented middle-class kids Harvard and company are targeting. “Schools compete hard for those students,”... More »

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