“Stop Universities From Hoarding Money,” proclaims a new op-ed at the New York Times. “What do you mean?” you reply to it, coughing slightly, for you—as you tend to—have eaten your lunchtime tacos too fast. The op-ed then comes in hot:
WHO do you think received more cash from Yale’s endowment last year: Yale students, or the private equity fund managers hired to invest the university’s money?
Oh, I mean... probably...
It’s not even close.
Right, like... the students get more money, that’s what I thought...
Last year, Yale paid about $480 million to private equity fund managers as compensation — about $137 million in annual management fees, and another $343 million in performance fees, also known as carried interest — to manage about $8 billion, one-third of Yale’s endowment.
In contrast, of the $1 billion the endowment contributed to the university’s operating budget, only $170 million was earmarked for tuition assistance, fellowships and prizes.
Well, $170 million to students versus $480 million to private equity managers—yeah, that’s really not even close, is it.
GREAT! Please read the rest of this article, which will provide sound rejoinders to all those caveats, such as “But Yale has a generous financial aid program,” “But those private equity fund managers are the reason the endowment has that year-over-year growth,” etc.
Elsewhere, other institutions are having to consider renaming themselves, as per a genteelly narcissistic donor’s demands, in order to stay open at all.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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