The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) is a nonprofit professional organization representing chief administrative and financial officers at more than 2,500 colleges and universities across the country. Over two-thirds of all institutions of higher learning in the United States are members of NACUBO. Each year, TIAA-CREF Trust Company, a pension system for educators and a manager of college endowments, conducts an in-depth study of college and university endowments for NACUBO, through its subsidiary, the Trust Company. Endowment assets for 2005 NACUBO Endowment Study participants are for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005.
Endowments include stocks, bonds, cash, and real estate that colleges and universities receive as gifts. Colleges or universities receiving endowments may not spend the endowment principal, only investment income derived from the principal. Quasi-endowments (year-end surplus assets that institutions choose to treat as permanent capital) may also be included in an investment pool's endowment composition. Also, because donors frequently stipulate that their gifts support specific programs at colleges and universities, the overall size of the endowment can be misleading in terms of available income to support the education of undergraduate students. For example, the income from an endowment gift to a medical school or law school may only be spent on those schools. In such cases, the income would not be available to support undergraduate education. Thus, at some research universities with extensive graduate and professional schools, as little as one-third of the institution's endowment may actually be available to generate income to support undergraduate programs and students.
The 2005 study was administered entirely in a web-based format; there were 746 respondents.
Further information on the 2005 NACUBO Endowment Study may be obtained from
National Association of College and University Business Officers
2501 M Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20037