Current Issue

Mar. 17, 2010

Vol. 110, No. 10


Princeton fiscally ‘turns the corner’

By W. Raymond Ollwerther '71
Published in the March 17, 2010, issue

Projecting that the endowment will rebound 10 percent this year and promising strict budgetary discipline, University administrators say they believe that Princeton has “turned the corner” financially.

President Tilghman told the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) Feb. 8 that although Yale and Dartmouth had just called for new budget cuts, “the good news is that that is not the case at Princeton.” No new budget reductions are anticipated beyond the two-year, $170 million cuts already approved, she said.

After reducing endowment spending by 8 percent in each of the last two years, Provost Christopher Eisgruber ’83 said at a “town hall” meeting two days later, the University hopes to increase endowment spending by 3 percent for FY ’12, which begins in July 2011.  

Supporting that, Eisgruber said, is a projection that the endowment's return will be up 10 percent in the year ending June 30, following a year in which it fell 23.5 percent.  

But he said the University must keep a tight rein on spending and identify additional savings so that it can return salary pools to pre-recession levels. In­creases for the coming year will be limited to 1.5 percent, with a cap of $2,000.

Tilghman said she has been working hard to assemble a “very small group of loyal Princetonians” to contribute $100 million toward the construction of the new neuroscience/psychology building. “I think we’re close,” she said. The University hopes to break ground on the building this spring to take advantage of lower construction costs.

Once that funding is secured, she said, she will turn her attention to raising $65 million to support the proposed arts and transit neighborhood south of McCarter Theatre Center.

Tilghman also said that the University is exploring the possibility of partnering with one or more private developers to rehabilitate and build new housing for graduate students and faculty. The Hibben-Magie apartments will be renovated and occupied solely by graduate students; executive vice president Mark Burstein said the University hopes to have a plan in place by the end of 2010.
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CURRENT ISSUE: Mar. 17, 2010