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Where’s the Geisel Bump?
The endowment rose in value this year from $3.49 billion to $3.73 billion — a fine increase*, but certainly not one that reflects the value of Dr. Seuss’ estate. Word has it that when Audrey Geisel passes from this mortal coil, Ted’s will stipulates that The Cat in the Hat, Horton, and the rest of the mighty empire will pass to the College.
But then why was Dartmouth Medical School renamed Geisel School of Medicine this past year, when no assets changed hands? Sure, you could surmise that the administration graciously chose to announce the name change when Mrs. Geisel was able to enjoy it. Or, rather, you might ask why it occurred that the precipitous announcement on April 4 came so close on the heels of Rolling Stone Magazine’s March 28 profile of hazing rites at SAE.
I’d go with the latter supposition. The Trustees knew well in advance that RS was working on a story that would be deeply damaging to the College. Distraction was the best way to combat the hit to Dartmouth’s reputation. The strategy: rush forward the re-naming of DMS, even though there was no actual reason for the change to be made then and there.
In any event, Ted’s estate could be worth ten figures, which would be a sweet gift, perhaps the largest in the history of American higher education. When the donation actually happens one day in the future, it will give the endowment a nice bump. Thanks Dr. Seuss!
* Needless to say, you will have done the math in your head and seen that this growth is but a 6.88% increase, even though Dartmouth’s money managers earned a 12.10% return on our investments in Fiscal 2013. Why the difference? The endowment grows by the return that it receives on investments, plus the amount of money that the College takes in via fundraising, minus the amount that it draws down from the endowment for its operations. Over the last decade or so, the College has consistently taken more from the endowment than its Ivy peers, which explains why we have had the worst endowment growth in the Ivies since 2000, even though we had the best growth in the 1990-2000 period. If you have to ask where the money has gone, you haven’t been reading this site with any care. Here’s a hint.
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…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…