Director of Communications
Jan. 23, 2008
Statement by John Lippincott, president of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education
WASHINGTON, D.C.- The National Association of College and University Business Officers' endowment study shows that college and university endowments realized strong investment returns in the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2007. These additional resources will help institutions enhance access and support for low- and middle-income students, fund cutting-edge research and support critical academic programs for both current and future generations.
While the 2007 investment returns were strong, the study's June 30 end date means that it does not account for the weakening of the financial markets that occurred in the latter half of the year. And as the U.S. economy continues to struggle into 2008, it is unlikely that the colleges and universities participating in the study will match their 2007 investment returns in the current fiscal year.
Given the volatility of financial markets, endowment performance is best evaluated over the long term. Institutions participating in the NACUBO study had an average annual endowment investment return of 8.6 percent-half of the single year 2007 rate of return-over the last decade. Colleges and universities were able to weather the economic downturn of the early 2000s through prudent endowment management practices, including the selection of an appropriate spending rate. As we face the prospect of another economic downturn, it is critical that colleges and universities retain the flexibility to determine endowment spending rates that will help them meet both current and future needs.
Our colleges and universities should be commended for the wise investment practices that have generated these excellent returns. Their work will help educational institutions remain strong in both the near and long-term future. NACUBO's ongoing initiative to benchmark endowment returns provides a valuable service to the educational community.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.
CASE was founded in 1974 and maintains headquarters in Washington, D.C., with offices in London (CASE Europe, 1994), Singapore (CASE Asia-Pacific, 2007) and Mexico City (CASE América Latina, 2011).
Today, CASE’s membership includes more than 3,670 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in more than 80 countries around the globe. This makes CASE one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational associations in terms of institutional membership. CASE serves nearly 81,000 advancement practitioners on the staffs of its member institutions and has more than 17,000 professional members on its roster.
To fulfill their missions and to meet both individual and societal needs, colleges, universities and independent schools rely on—and therefore must foster—the good will, active involvement, informed advocacy and enduring support of alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, government officials, community leaders, corporate executives, foundation officers and other external constituencies.
CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with all of these constituencies by providing relevant research, supporting growth in the profession and fostering support of education. CASE also offers a variety of advancement products and services, provides standards and an ethical framework for the profession and works with other organizations to respond to public issues of concern while promoting the importance of education worldwide.