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Endowment: Great, Bad, Good

The evolution of a school’s endowment is a combination of three elements: investment returns achieved by the endowment office, financial giving by the alumni, and funds drawn out of the endowment by the administration for ongoing operations.

Look at how well the Freedman administration did versus the other Ivy schools in adding to the College’s financial resources. In the 1990-2000 period we were the top performer in the Ivies in terms of endowment growth:

Ivy Net Endowment Growth 1990-2000.jpg

However, as we have documented, when the reins were passed to the lamentable Jim Wright, the spending floodgates were opened, and we are still suffering today from his profligacy. As a result, during the 2000-2010 period Dartmouth went from first to worst:

Ivy Net Endowment Growth 2000-2010.jpg

And how have things unfurled since 2010? A little better than middling: we are in the top half of the Ancient Eight. Penn leads. We are behind Yale, and just ahead of Princeton. And the four of us handily beat the remaining schools:

Ivy Net Endowment Growth 2010-2016.jpg

Of course, the first glimmerings of fiscal discipline merit few applause. To use Reagan Budget Director David Stockman’s memorable phrase, the College remains a sinkhole of waste.


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