January 6, 2022
Northwestern’s net assets grew to more than $ 16 billion in fiscal 2021, according to a December report.
NU’s 2021 financial report documents significant growth in various areas. Funding for sponsored research has reached a record high of $ 893.4 million, 74% more than a decade ago.
The report also highlighted the success of the We Will fundraising campaign, an effort organized by Alumni Relations and Development. The campaign ended this year after raising $ 6.1 billion from more than 170,000 donors, surpassing its original goal of $ 3.75 billion.
The University’s endowment has seen a 37% return over the past year, according to the report. University president Morton Schapiro said in an October interview with the Daily that one of his main goals during his senior year was to continue to strengthen the university’s financial position in preparation for the transition to power of Rebecca Blank, recently named successor.
âI want to make sure the budget is in good shape,â Schapiro said. âShe’s going to have passions. I want her to have money that she can spend immediately on the things that are most important to her.
The growth in the endowment puts NU in an above-average financial position, according to vice president and chief investment officer Amy Falls. Peer establishments also had a strong year for their endowments in 2021, and Falls told The Daily that she was happy that NU was able to be part of that success.
NU’s venture capital portfolio has grown 115% over the past year, making it a major contributor to NU’s endowment success, Falls said. The University currently invests in a wide range of fields, including software and applications, biotechnology, climate transition technology, and cryptocurrency technology.
âWe’ve had a really good year,â Falls said. âI’m very happy with the way staffing has worked, and I’m also very happy with how we are positioned (for the future). “
Going forward, she said the university will adjust its investments to start reducing risk and shifting towards longer-term goals. Last year, venture capital represented about 35% of the University’s endowment. Falls has said she would prefer that percentage to be closer to 20%, but the transition will take time.
The University maintained a large operating surplus – $ 87.8 million, according to the report – and Schapiro said he would like to see it represented in the capital budget. These funds can be used to hire more staff, increase faculty and staff salaries, finance IT, and speed up the Jacobs Center renovation project, he said.
In the report’s introduction, Executive Vice President Craig Johnson praised the Northwestern community for achieving the University’s financial success and stability amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
âNorthwestern’s ability to manage such operational and financial uncertainty has been made possible by the extraordinary efforts and resilience of our faculty and staff working under considerable strain,â said Johnson. âOur community has responded to cost containment measures with dedication and entrepreneurship. “
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– Report: University Assets Surpassed $ 15 Billion Last Year
– University announces surplus of $ 83.4 million for fiscal 2020