I’m a Duke alum so I like to see Duke excel.
But when it comes to timely, detailed reporting of the financial downturn’s effects on endowments and budgeting, Duke’s reporting lags that of Harvard's and Yale's.
Just 2 days ago Yale President Richard C. Levin released a lengthy Budget Letter
Following release of his letter, Levin participated in a Q&A with the Yale Daily News. (see here)
On Dec. 2 Harvard President Drew G. Galpin released a Financial Update, one of a number of recent letters she's released and interviews she's granted in which she's sought to keep the Harvard community informed as to the current value of Harvard's endowment and specific budgeting plans for the university.
It was back on Oct. 23 that Duke President Richard H. Brodhead released his most recent letter on "Duke and the economy." On Dec. 8 Brodhead and BOT chair Robert Steel granted an interview to The Chronicle. Judging by what The Chronicle published, their goal was to simply reassure the Duke community that everything's being well-managed. (Chronicle story here)
Brodhead's letter contains a good deal of back-patting and failed to inform regarding the then current value of Duke's endowment.
Here's a representative excerpt from Brodhead's letter :
Duke’s endowment has been one of the most successful among all U.S. universities. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, the endowment recorded a 6.2 percent increase in market value – this at a time when many comparable funds actually declined in value.President Brodhead and the trustees owe the Duke community a current, detailed explanation of the value of the endowment and of current budget planning, particularly as regards student aid, salary and benefits, and major projects currently in the planning stage.
Indeed, though the past few months’ results have not been positive, over the past ten years the Duke University endowment has grown at an average annual rate of 15.6 percent, which places it among the top performers of all university endowments.
Hat tips: a number of you who are sending on links and info