The Endowment Mission
The Endowment provides perpetual funding to support the University’s educational goals while preserving real value for future generations. To that end, the University’s Board of Trustees, Investment Visiting Committee, and Administration have a shared mission to maximize the Endowment’s total return consistent with the University’s prudent investment risk constraints. This mission requires an expected long-term return that exceeds the inflation-adjusted annual spending rate. In order to pursue that goal, the University maintains an equity-biased portfolio and seeks to partner with best-in-class management firms across diverse asset categories while also managing some endowment assets in-house. The Investments Office manages the endowment under the guidance of and within the policies authorized by the Investment Visiting Committee of the University.
The target spending rate for the Endowment is 4% to 5% of the three-year average market value as determined annually by the University’s Board of Trustees. In Fiscal 2019, the spending distribution to the University was $63 million, providing financial support and flexibility to the University’s operating budget. In recent years, the Endowment’s role in supporting the University has become more meaningful as funding from the State of Delaware has declined. This support is likely to become even more important in the coming years given the challenges facing higher education today.