At the Fall Board of Trustees meeting last weekend, the University released its long-awaited endowment figures for the 2018 fiscal year. As reported by DUMAC, the organization tasked with overseeing Duke’s investments, the University’s total endowment now stands at a whopping $8.5 billion, up from last year’s record high of $7.9 billion. Buoyed on by relatively strong growth rates in the private financial sectors—especially the stock market—Duke drew in a 12.9 percent return on its investments, far exceeding the average 8.3 percent gain reported by endowments of all sizes in fiscal 2018 so far.
Duke, like most research universities, derives a large part of its annual budget and operating expenses directly from its endowment. Consequently, the financial health of the University, and its operations, is directly correlated with the health of its endowment. When the endowment experienced a nearly 20 percent reduction in