GU finances improving

September 3, 2009

After seeing its endowment plummet by just over 25 percent and operating deficit projections approach $40 million in the first half of fiscal year 2009, Georgetown closed out the year in a better-than-expected financial situation, according to preliminary data provided by Chief Financial Officer Chris Augostini.

“I think we as an institution should be very pleased about how we will have come out of this period,” Augostini said.

Augostini expects the value of the endowment as of June 30, the end of FY 2009, to be roughly $900 million, a decrease of around 22 percent.  The endowment was valued at $860.3 million as of April 30, 2009, a 26.3 percent decline, according to a report from Standard & Poor’s.

The performance of Georgetown’s endowment was similar to many colleges and universities in the United States, which saw average declines between 20 and 25 percent in FY 2009, according to Kenneth Redd, the Director of Research and Policy Analysis for the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

The operating deficit will be in the neighborhood of $12 million, down from the University’s March projection of $37.8 million, due to lower than anticipated costs from the University’s debt service and bond insurance, Augostini said.

Georgetown’s response to the financial crisis included delayed salary increases for faculty and staff, and postponed construction of the new science center, which Augostini called “Georgetown’s number one priority.”
University President John DeGioia cautioned that Georgetown is still grappling with the effects of the crisis.
“We just deal with it every day right now,” he said. “We don’t consider this over yet, by any stretch.”

Additional reporting by Juliana Brint.

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Yes, but Georgetown got a $75 million gift to the endowment this year. Is that counted in these numbers? If so, the endowment performance was far worse than our peers (which persumably did not get any gifts this large in relation to their endowment size) and went down something like 30%. Did Chris address this in your interview?