The Duke University Board of Trustees on Saturday approved construction projects and received updates on a range of academic and financial topics, including the performance of Duke's endowment investments for fiscal year 2012-13.
In related news, the board also approved changes to Duke's approach to socially responsible investing (see http://today.duke.edu/2013/10/endowment_changes.)
The trustees were informed this weekend that DUMAC, the university's investment company, had achieved a 13.5 percent return on Duke's long-term pool, the primary investment vehicle for the university's endowment assets, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013. The market value of the university's endowment was $6.0 billion as of June 30.
As a result of the investment returns and a record-setting year for new gifts and pledges during the Duke Forward fundraising campaign, the university's endowment has almost fully recovered from losses experienced during the financial downturn that began in 2008. The endowment stood at $6.1 billion in FY2008, before a drop of more than 25 percent the following year.
In FY2012, DUMAC achieved a 1 percent return on investments. Over the past 10 years, the average annual return on the long-term pool has been 10.6 percent.
DUMAC's investment portfolio consists of equities, debt and other investments. More information about it is available at http://dukeforward.duke.edu/ways-to-give/endowment.
The trustees also reviewed and approved renovation plans for the first floor of Bostock Library to create a central space that supports the research needs of students and faculty. The improvements to the library's research commons will allow for technology-focused services, resources and spaces for collaborative work, and for other forms of support for research projects. The renovations are expected to begin next summer.
The trustees also gave final approval to a new track and field complex, which will be built west of Koskinen Stadium, which is where Duke's lacrosse and soccer teams play.
Also, the trustees were updated on strategic planning efforts at the Divinity School by Dean Richard Hays and on IT security efforts across the university by Tracy Futhey, Duke's vice president for information technology and chief information officer.
The board meeting took place during a busy weekend on campus, as the university wrapped up its nine-month commemoration of the 50th anniversary of when black undergraduates first enrolled at Duke. Several trustees attended the commemoration’s gala celebration, as well as the annual Founders' Day ceremony, which celebrates the founding of the university and recognizes major contributions by students, faculty, administrators, employees and alumni.