“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.

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Oh.

Well, $170 million to students versus $480 million to private equity managers—yeah, that’s really not even close, is it.

Private equity fund managers also received more than students at four other endowments I researched: Harvard, the University of Texas, Stanford and Princeton.

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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 jia@jezebel.com.

Image via AP