After 19% investment return, endowment climbs to $12.4 billion
Treasurer says performance enables MIT to catch up on building repairs
MIT’s primary investment pool generated a return of 19.2 percent in the 2014 fiscal year, during which the Institute’s endowment rose to $12.4 billion, the MIT Investment Management Company announced last Friday.
Israel Ruiz SM ’01, the executive vice president and treasurer, called the returns “impressive” in a report on MIT’s finances for the 12 months that ended on June 30. The performance was the highest reported since 2007.
Ruiz said that MIT’s financial position has allowed it to pay for construction and renovations that are part of a broad plan to “renew” the campus.
MIT’s endowment was first reported to cross the $10 billion mark in 2012. MIT has the sixth largest college endowment in the country, after Harvard, Yale, the University of Texas system, Stanford, and Princeton.
A fraction of the gains from investments go toward the $3 billion it takes to keep MIT running each year. The rest comes mostly from federal research grants. Tuition from undergraduates, graduate students, and others contributed about $320 million in the last fiscal year, according to Ruiz’s report.
“In fiscal 2014, MIT expected Federal research funding to be under pressure and result in overall reduction of research volume,” the report reads. “The Institute exercised expense control in administrative areas, while investing in education and research activities.”
About half of the $3 billion was spent on salaries, wages, and employee benefits.
The Task Force on the Future of MIT Education, co-chaired by Ruiz, recently recommended that MIT expand its fundraising, suggesting that MIT might procure donations from not just alumni of the undergraduate and graduate programs, but also former postdoctoral students and people who have taken online classes via MITx.
MIT is currently in the “quiet phase” of a fundraising campaign expected to bring in billions of dollars from alumni and other donors over several years.
The task force also suggested making money from technology licensing. Another proposal was to invest in MIT inventions and startups through an MIT-based venture fund.