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Monday, December 10, 2012

Harvard as giant hedge fund

Ron Unz seems to be getting some traction on Twitter with his observation that Harvard looks like a giant hedge fund ($30B AUM) attached to a smaller educational institution (annual budget about $1B?) for tax purposes ;-)
Paying Tuition to a Giant Hedge Fund: ... Harvard’s Division of Arts and Sciences—the central core of academic activity—contains approximately 450 full professors, whose annual salaries tend to average the highest at any university in America. Each year, these hundreds of great scholars and teachers receive aggregate total pay of around $85 million. But in fiscal 2004, just the five top managers of the Harvard endowment fund shared total compensation of $78 million, an amount which was also roughly 100 times the salary of Harvard’s own president.

... The typical private foundation is legally required to spend 5 percent of its assets on charitable activities, and with Harvard’s endowment now back over $30 billion, that sum would come to around $1.5 billion annually. This is many times the total amount of undergraduate tuition ...
However, there has been very little media attention to his analysis of meritocracy in elite higher education. The humorous hedge fund observation is merely a sidebar to the meritocracy article.

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