Barnard’s Endowment: The Basics

How big is Barnard’s endowment?

According to Barnard VP for Finance Eileen DiBenedetto, Barnard’s endowment broke the $345 million mark this past July.[1]As many students, faculty, alumnae and administrators are aware, Barnard’s endowment is very small when compared to other similarly sized liberal arts institutions such as Smith College ($1.9 billion[2]) or Wellesley College ($1.97 billion[3]). As COO Goldberg put it, “Barnard was built on an idea, not an endowment.”[4]

Who manages it?

From 2006 to 2017, Barnard endowment was managed by an external asset management group, Investure LLC.[5]Because Investure managed Barnard’s endowment within a consortium of thirteen other institutions, Barnard historically lacked independent control over the management of its own endowment.[6]In September, 2017, Barnard announced that it would be appointing Strategic Investment Group as its new Outsourced Chief Investment Office (OCIO).[7]This transition from Investure LLC to Strategic Investment Group marks an exciting new chapter in the College’s history, as Barnard will now be able to make investment decisions that better align with its core institutional values.

[1]Barkin, Rachel, and Marianna Najman-Franks. “Barnard Students Question Administrative Commitment to Initiatives for Low-income Students at SGA Meeting.” Columbia Daily Spectator. September 18, 2018. Accessed September 24, 2018. https://www.columbiaspectator.com/news/2018/09/18/barnard-students-question-administrative-commitment-to-initiatives-for-low-income-students-at-sga-meeting/.

[2]Smith College. “Endowment Summary.” March 31, 2018. Accessed September 24th, 2018. https://www.smith.edu/sites/default/files/media/Documents/Controller/Smith-Website-Report-2018-03-31.pdf

[3]Wellesley College. “Annual Report, 2016-2017.” June 30th, 2017. Accessed September 24th, 2018. https://www.wellesley.edu/sites/default/files/assets/departments/controller/files/annualreport_2016_2017.pdf

[4]Barkin, Rachel, and Marianna Najman-Franks. “Barnard Students Question Administrative Commitment to Initiatives for Low-income Students at SGA Meeting.” Columbia Daily Spectator. September 18, 2018. Accessed September 24, 2018. https://www.columbiaspectator.com/news/2018/09/18/barnard-students-question-administrative-commitment-to-initiatives-for-low-income-students-at-sga-meeting/.

[5]“History of Our Campaign.” Divest Barnard. Accessed September 24, 2018. http://www.divestbarnard.org/history-of-our-campaign/.

[6]Ibid.

[7]Barnard College. “Barnard College Has Appointed New Endowment Management Firm.” News release, September 13, 2017. Accessed September 24, 2018. https://barnard.edu/news/barnard-college-has-appointed-new-endowment-management-firm.

 

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