Running a University is not cheap.
Case in point, by far the largest expense remains wages, pensions and benefits for Cornell’s nearly 18,000 employees, amounting to $2.9 billion and 64.8 percent of its budget.
Although Cornell’s position as a non-profit anchored by an over $7 billion endowment means that it does not face the same pressures to run a surplus as companies of a similar size — the deficit still prompted the University’s top accountant to call for finding new avenues of growth and cost-cutting.
How much does the endowment support the school’s operating budget?
But according to Joanne DeStefano, Cornell’s Chief Financial Officer, the University’s mixed investment track record as it undergoes strategic changes may pose less of a concern than it would for other peer universities. In 2018, only 8 percent of the University’s revenue came from funds distributed from its endowment, while at Harvard, that figure was 35 percent.
“Operating costs at Cornell are less dependent on endowment payout than at other highly endowed institutions,” DeStefano wrote in Cornell’s most recently published annual financial statement report, attributing it to the University’s strong “revenue diversity.”
Read more about Cornell’s endowment and finances here.
Post by Marcelino Pantoja