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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Ivy Debt Binge: We’re Now #2
We’ve commented repeatedly on the College’s exploding indebtedness: jumping from $288 million in 2001 to $945 million in 2010. Dartmouth is not alone in the Ivies in going into hock to finance its operations and construction budgets in the 21st century — but as this space has illustrated, when everyone in the Ivy League sins, we seem to sin a fair bit more.
In 2000, for every dollar in the endowment, Dartmouth had 11 cents of debt. As you can see below, we were not as prudent financially as Harvard and Princeton, but we were close to being on a par with Yale, and we managed our finances better than Columbia, Penn and Cornell (Brown’s fiscal 2000 financials are no longer available):
By 2010, after a decade of terrible financial decisions, we had the second highest debt to endowment ratio in the Ivies: 32 cents of debt for every dollar in the endowment. Penn seems to have wrestled its finances under control (it can be done), even as Cornell borrowed with abandon:
The above are not simply abstract financial statistics. Each borrowed dollar will need to be re-paid with interest out of future budgets — thereby depriving tomorrow’s students and faculty of the resources to pay for great education.
Note: Where has all of the borrowed money gone? Surprisingly, though the College completed a $1.3 billion capital campaign in 2009, a significant part of the $400 million loan that the College took out in that year still went to capital projects, as The D described after an interview with Adam Keller:
The lion’s share of funds acquired through the tax-free issue — $121 million — will support the construction of the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, Keller said. The recently completed renovations to New Hampshire residence hall will require $12 million, and an additional $12 million will fund a project to replace the boiler and increase capacity at the College heating plant.
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…