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Winter 2009
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 WWU 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.
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.
is completing its eighth consecutive
year of operating in the black.
has not had to withdraw funds
from its endowment to fund
experienced record undergraduate
enrollment this fall, welcoming
325 new students and bringing
total enrollment to nearly 3,500—
Jahnae H. Barnett, Ph.D.
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.
remains an affordable educational
option. The traditional, under-
graduate tuition increase was
less than 4 percent, while graduate
tuition remained the same in
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—
William Woods!