Page 3 - winter 07-08

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TheWoods
3
While the economic crisis continues
to plague the U. S., William Woods
University is faring well, thanks to
sound fiscal management and wise
investment strategy. To put things in
perspective, let me first share with you
some of the news from other university
campuses. It is not good. Witness these
headlines from newspapers across
the country:
“UT-Austin endowment down nearly
$1 billion this year” – Austin
American-Statesman, Oct. 31
“Stock market struggles felt by
higher education” – The Florida
Times-Union, Nov. 4
“2 Ivy League Universities, Hit by
Financial Crisis, Announce Hiring
Freezes” – The Chronicle of Higher
Education, Nov. 5
The endowment of the University of
Texas-Austin has declined by nearly
13 percent this year, which raises the
potential for lower-than-projected
revenues next year. A smaller
endowment generates less money
for construction projects, faculty
salaries, scholarships, etc.
In the southeast, reports are similar.
Endowments decreased almost 12
percent in September at the University
of North Florida, 11 percent at Edward
Waters College and 8-9 percent at the
University of Florida and the University
of Georgia.
Even the Ivy League is not immune...
facing a decrease in the value of their
endowments, both Brown and Cornell
announced hiring freezes. Boston
University did likewise.
From June to September, Vassar
College’s endowment dropped from
$845 to $765 million. Closer to home,
the value of the University of Missouri’s
endowment decreased from $920 to
$809 million.
While William Woods has experienced
the effects of the downturn in the
financial markets, the value of our
endowment has decreased only
6.5 percent this fiscal year. Our
endowment is invested for the
long-term in a diversified portfolio
of stocks and bonds, so we have
not experienced a drastic drop
in our endowment’s value due to
overexposure to the volatility of the
stock market.
Also on a positive note:
WWU refinanced $6.95 million in
outstanding campus improvement
bonds this year, eliminating the final
four years of payments and saving
$1.48 million in interest.
The university is completing its
eighth consecutive year
of operating in the black.
William Woods has not had to
withdraw funds from its endowment
to fund operations.
President’s
Perspective
WWU Financial Stable; Sets Record Enrollment
Jahnae H. Barnett, Ph.D.
WWU experienced record
undergraduate enrollment this fall,
welcoming 325 new students and
bringing total enrollment to nearly
3,500—a 37 percent increase overall.
The struggling economy appears to
be driving traditional and adult
students alike back to school to
increase job security and qualify
for greater career opportunities.
William Woods remains an affordable
educational option. The traditional,
undergraduate tuition increase was
less than 4 percent, while graduate
tuition remained the same in
2008-2009.
Although there is concern for the fiscal
state of other colleges and universities
across the nation, I am proud of
our team here at William Woods for
continuing to monitor the economic
situation and finding ways to weather
the storm. I am sure you share my
pleasure—and my relief—that the future
of WWU is in good hands.
It is with pride that I point to our Board
of Trustees, our administration, our
faculty and staff, and you, our loyal
alumni and friends, as sources of
ensuring the continued strength and
success of our university—