Harvard CFO outlines endowment effects caused by COVID-19

Saturday, August 15, 2020 - 00:50 in Psychology & Sociology

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant and immediate financial challenges for colleges and universities. Many institutions of higher learning are faced with difficult decisions about the best way to manage declining revenue coupled along with increased investment to continue supporting an environment of academic excellence amid new health protocols. At Harvard, the Corporation has fiduciary responsibility for the University’s academic, financial, and physical resources, and overall well-being. The Gazette spoke with Thomas J. Hollister, Harvard’s vice president for finance and chief financial officer, to learn more about the Corporation’s revised endowment guidance for the 2021 fiscal year. Q&A Thomas J. Hollister GAZETTE: Distributions from the endowment provide a critical source of funding to support the University’s mission of teaching and research. What is the process for setting the endowment distribution?  HOLLISTER: It is indeed a critical source of funding, in fact, the University’s largest, at 35 percent of revenue. Between past gifts to the endowment and...

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