The University of California’s $11.2 billion endowment has produced the worst investment returns of any of the richest colleges in the country over the past decade, an analysis by The Center for Investigative Reporting shows.
From the 2004 through 2013 fiscal years, the investment payout for the UC endowment ranked last among the 10 U.S. universities with the largest endowment funds. The university earned an average of 7.3 percent on the combined endowment of the system and individual campuses, while the other nine colleges – which include the public University of Michigan and University of Texas – averaged 10 percent.
In 2013, the UC endowment’s return improved dramatically. But better performance over the previous nine years would have meant tens of millions of dollars a year to spend during a decade when the state’s premier public university system saw massive cuts in state funding.
Thousands of employees in the 10-campus system lost their jobs and students felt the pain acutely, as their education costs more than doubled.