As Harvard named a new management chief in its bid to improve the returns on its huge portfolio, Yale University reported Wednesday that its fund had earned a 20.2 percent return for the fiscal year, a big payoff for a strategy that was criticized in the wake of the financial crisis. The developments intensified the spotlight on the investment practices of the Ivy League colleges and the high stakes for their endowments.
Harvard and Yale disclosed Thursday just how many billions of dollars their endowments had lost in the last year, signaling yet more belt tightening at the nation’s wealthiest schools.
For years, as the stock market roared, educational endowments swelled, helping private secondary schools and colleges provide more financial aid, expand, and attract better faculty. But with the financial markets in crisis, those days are over.