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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OPM — Other People’s Money
The endowment is only part of the story in understanding the College’s fiscal health. To fill out the picture, let’s look at the administration’s borrowing. Of course, debt has its place in financial management — why wait for money to come in when an important project can be built right now. But the temptation to use debt to cover budgetary holes that stem from over-staffing, the over-compensation of employees, and excessive spending, is strong, too. Look at the evolution of debt at the College over the past 26 years: the amount owing on bonds and mortgages today is almost an order of magnitude over what it was in 1990, a period of time during which inflation was 84%.
Of course, there comes a point when the party stops. The College lost its prestigious Triple A bond rating in 2009, a move which resulted in an increase in the interest rates payable on Dartmouth’s bonds.
But the administration’s taste for the easy-money party is far from over. This past April the College issued another $250 million of debt, in part to finance the house system.
Another way to look at the issue is to note that while the endowment has increased by approximately two billion dollars since 2000, during that time our debt has climbed by a billion dollars, too, eating up half of the endowment’s gains.
Needless to say, there is another way to finance new projects: cut waste from the budget. Any good business is always finding ways to increase productivity, even as it grows. The College should start doing so now.
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…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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