A very timely article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed discussing endowment spending today. Do universities “spend enough of their endowments for society’s benefit to justify the tax exemption they get”? Senator Charles Grassley is pushing for legislation requiring universities to spend a minimum 5% of their endowment income annually. His solution is a one-size-fits-all answer to a complex situation that has evolved over many years.
The Libraries benefit from a modest but growing number of endowments. But is our endowment portfolio big enough to continue to support the increasing costs of growing and maintaining world-class collections? Not by a long shot. Endowments for collection enhancement, electronic resources, and preservation activities play a key role in maintaining an academic library’s pivotal place in the lives of students, faculty, and researchers.
It isn’t all about the size of the endowment. In the case of the Libraries, and for many other academic libraries in the US, the endowment’s specific spending guidelines can have a huge impact. Continue reading Wanna buy an 8-track?