Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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How Does Your Endowment Grow?
As we saw yesterday and the day before, the College saps the growth of the endowment with unconscionable overspending. It is one thing for the endowment’s managers to earn a good return; it is quite another for the administration to then spend a greater percentage of that return than any other Ivy League school.
Want proof? Look at how Dartmouth’s endowment grew over the past decade compared to our peers. We are falling behind our sister schools in the quality of the education we can afford to offer our students because we are wasting so much money. More mis-administration will soon make us the poor man of the Ivy League.
During this period, the Consumer Price Index rose by 23.8%; the College’s endowment was the only Ivy endowment not to keep pace with the rate of inflation.
But perhaps we should not use the CPI as our index of choice. The Commonfund Institute calculates a specialized index for universities called the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI), which it describes as follows: “A more accurate indicator of cost changes for colleges and universities than the Consumer Price Index (CPI), HEPI is used primarily to project future budget increases required to preserve purchasing power.” During the 2001-2010 period the HEPI rose by 35.0% — a figure far beyond the increase in the College’s endowment, but below the growth in the endowments of all of the other Ivy League schools.
Could the College do better than this? There’s an easy answer to that question. Dartmouth has done better in the past, much better. Look at how the College’s endowment grew between 1991-2000 with budgets put together by President Freedman. Under Freedman our endowment had the fastest growth in the Ivy League, not the slowest.
In the 1991-2000 period, the CPI rose by 26.5% and the HEPI increased by 32.9%.
We should note that prudent financial management is not inconsistent with academic quality. In fact, quality in one area often goes hand in hand with quality in the other. For most of the high-growth 90’s, the College was ranked 7th or 8th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, and students almost never had to face class oversubscriptions when they chose courses (and signing up for a DDS meal plan was optional for anyone but freshmen). Today Dartmouth has dropped to 11th place, and students are turned away from their desired courses on a regular basis (I’ll avoid piling onto DDS, like everyone else is doing).
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…