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Report Questions College Investment Strategies

A new report is questioning the investment strategies used by some local universities.

The report (PDF), from the Boston-based Center for Social Philanthropy, examines six endowments, including those of Harvard, Brandeis and Boston College. It concludes their investment strategies are jeopardizing the security of the schools' income and hurting university employees and communities.

Joshua Humphreys, the lead investigator, says falling endowments have ripple effects on the regional economy, as is the case with Harvard’s stalled Allston expansion, which Humphreys said is causing significant local loss.

"Over a very short period of delay of only three years, and it's assumed that Allston is going to take much longer to get back if it's going to be done at all," Humphreys said. "Nearly $1 billion in lost economic impact in the Boston metro region."

The report suggests the schools should invest with greater liquidity and lower volatility, and put away money for a rainy-day fund.

This program aired on May 21, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Monica Brady-Myerov Twitter Reporter
Monica Brady-Myerov was formerly a report in WBUR's newsroom.

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