« A Harvard mess 1 | Main | The shackle of time 1 »


Jon Peltier

Your second chart here is "Proportion of Distributed Endowment Funds" while the first in the previous post is "Percent of Endowment Funds". I can't think what's really different in these two descriptions unless it's the word "distributed".

Is the older chart relating a percentage of the overall endowment? Does each school have a stake of the total amount?

If so, then a comparison of these two charts shows that the distribution to some schools is greater than the stakes those schools have.

John Roth

On thinking this over, if I was an alum (which I'm not) I think I'd like to see two other charts showing percentage budgetary impact. One should show impact assuming an even reduction in funding, the other showing impact assuming that funding is reduced in proportion to their contribution to the endowment fund.


Jon: I am not quite sure what they mean by percent of endowment funds. I'm guessing this has to do with inputs to the endowment as opposed to outputs. Will have to read the financial report carefully to understand all this.

I can explain what I mean by percent of distributed endowment funds. Each school reports how much of their costs are covered by funds distributed from the endowment. Sum all those distributions across all schools to get the total amount distributed. Then figure out what proportion went to Arts and Sciences, Engineering, etc.

Also, I hate the description of "percent of operating revenues from endowment-income distributions" from the original chart. Not knowing much about university accounting, I'd think this just means how much of their operating costs are covered by the endowment distribution.

On second thought, I'm not sure I interpreted the charts in the financial report correctly relating to budgets. When I get a chance, I will revisit the calculation in the first chart above.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Link to Principal Analytics Prep

See our curriculum, instructors. Apply.
Kaiser Fung. Business analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker.
Visit my website. Follow my Twitter. See my articles at Daily Beast, 538, HBR.

See my Youtube and Flickr.

Book Blog

Link to junkcharts

Graphics design by Amanda Lee

The Read

Keep in Touch

follow me on Twitter